Illawarra has sacked coach Jacob Jackomas with immediate effect, with assistant coach Justin Tatum to take over in an interim capacity.
The Hawks confirmed the move on Tuesday ahead of Sunday's road clash with the Breakers on the back of a disappointing defeat to a drastically undermanned Cairns outfit last weekend.
In a last throw of the dice, Jackomas benched skipper Tyler Harvey against the Taipans, the experiment paying no dividend and seeing the Hawks slump to arguably their worst defeat of the year.
It took the club to 2-7 on the season and a dismal 5-32 through Jackomas' tenure. With play-in hopes hanging by a thread, the club has chosen to swing the axe.
"These decisions are never taken lightly, and on behalf of the club, I want to thank Jacob for all his hard work during his time at the Hawks and wish him well in his future coaching endeavours," Hawks general manager Mat Campbell said.
"Unfortunately, our performances over the first nine games of the NBL24 season, following a challenging NBL23 campaign, have not met the club's expectations, and we agreed that Jacob should finish his duties."
Hawks CEO Stu Taggart said on-court performance had not matched the club's new off-court strategy.
"The Club remains firmly committed to building a basketball program and an organisation focused on sustained performance and success," Taggart said.
"The leadership of the team and the direction the team is taking are the responsibilities of the Head Coach, and the Club must take a different path now, without delay," Taggart said.
"Hawks assistant coach Justin Tatum will assume interim head coaching duties immediately while the Club commences its search for a new head coach and will provide further information once that process is complete.
Tatum will take on his first professional coaching role having complied a stellar resume in the high school system in his home city of St. Louis.
It's a disappointing end for Jackomas, who succeeded long-time mentor Brian Goorjian at the Hawks ahead of last season and was forced to deal with a horror import injury toll in his rookie year.
He won plaudits for his his handling of the injury-ravaged side but a lack of results with a heavily bolstered roster forced the club's hand.
Jackomas had his contract extended until the end of 2026, but his tenure will end at 36 games and the ignominious distinction of steering the Hawks to its worst season in franchise history.
MORE TO COME
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