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Hannaryz cut loose coach Aono

Staff Report

As expected, the Kyoto Hannaryz have decided to part ways with head coach Kazuto Aono. The bj-league team made the formal announcement on Tuesday.

Assistant coach Daniel Stafford, who turns 25 on June 5, won’t return for a second season, a news release also stated.

In 2010-11, Aono guided the Hannaryz to a 28-20 record, an 11-win improvement over the previous season. The team dropped its first-round Western Conference playoff series to the rival Shiga Lakestars, losing the decisive mini-game on May 1 after splitting the two full playoff tilts.

The Hannaryz went 17-35 in their inaugural season in 2009-10, including 14-26 under ex-NBA forward David Benoit, who was fired last April. The 35-year-old Aono, a former Saitama Broncos player and assistant coach, took over as head coach after Benoit’s departure and compiled a 31-29 overall record with Kyoto.