Australia Day

26 January 2015

87 days to go

Bob Turner

Bob Turner is one of Australia’s most recognisable and respected sports personalities. Best known for his basketball coaching and administration, Bob is renowned throughout many other  sporting organisations for his marketing and management ability. His work with the Canberra Cannons and the Sydney Kings in developing marketing and sponsorship programs set the  standard for the NBL during the early ‘90s. Since 1979, his expertise has seen four NBL Clubs (Newcastle Falcons, Canberra, Sydney and the Singapore Slingers) become highly competitive and well administered.

His personal success as a basketballer, coach, marketer and businessman combine to make him an authority and excellent speaker on a variety of issues including team building, motivation, success, leadership and selling and marketing sport.

Bob has been actively engaged as Head Coach, General Manager, Managing Director and part owner of four NBL teams and most recently was the driving force in the resurrection of the Sydney Kings. His media profile and access to high profile decision makers in the sporting, political and business arenas, combined with strong credibility and hard work ethic, has produced an individual with proven ability to tackle a challenge. Those skills were put to the test with the creation and  implementation of the Singapore Slingers, the last team to join the NBL. The Slingers are now playing in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) the first professional sports league for the ASEAN block of countries, a competition pioneered by the Slingers and their Chairman Tony Fernandes of AirAsia.

Bob Turner came to Australia from the USA in 1976 to play basketball. He stayed, became an Australian citizen, and forged a highly successful career in sport– as a player, coach, marketer,  manager, motivator and owner.1995 was Bob’s seventh season as head coach of the Sydney Coca-Cola Kings and the last of his fourteen seasons overall as a head coach in the National Basketball League. At that time he was the second most successful active coach in the league – 223 wins at 61.3%.

Through a distinguished coaching career Bob is one of an elite group of coaches to be awarded the prestigious NBL Coach of the Year Award twice, in 1981 with the Newcastle Falcons and in 1985 with the Canberra Cannons.

Bob is also one of a handful of coaches in the thirty three year history of the National Basketball League to win more than one championship, guiding the Canberra Cannons to back-to-back titles in 1983 and 1984. He was also the youngest coach in NBL history to win an NBL Championship.

This illustrious record stamps him as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Basketball League (NBL). In 1999 he was inducted into the NBL Hall of Fame.

Originally recruited to Australia as a player/coach of Shoalhaven in the New South Wales State League in 1976, Bob performed the dual roles for the Newcastle Falcons in the first year of the NBL in 1979. 

In between his tenure at Shoalhaven and Newcastle Bob pioneered the full time role of State Director of Coaching – a position he fulfilled from 1978 – 1980 with NSW Basketball.

After spending the 1980 season as a player, Bob was appointed Head Coach of the Newcastle Falcons in 1981 and 1982 before moving to Canberra in 1983. As he had done in Newcastle, Bob set about promoting basketball in the national capital and with sell-out crowds and back-to-back titles in 1983 and 1984; Canberra was the boom city for basketball at that time.