The Chiba Jets, a bj-league expansion team set to begin play in the fall, have hired veteran American mentor Eric Gardow as their first coach.
The Jets made the announcement on Monday evening, becoming the second of four 2011-12 expansion teams to name a sideline supervisor after the Iwate Big Bulls handed the coaching reins to Greek Vlasios Vlaikidis. The Shinshu Brave Warriors and Yokohama B-Corsairs are expected to name their new coaches in the coming days.
“Today is a great day for me and my family and the basketball fans in Chiba Prefecture,” Gardow said in a statement. “I am really excited about moving to Chiba, Japan, and leading the Chiba Jets in (their) first year in the bj-league.”
He described this as a “wonderful opportunity,” adding that “we are excited to get to work, prepare the team, and compete at the highest level against all of the great talent in Japan.”
“I will give it my best and I hope the fans will come cheer for the team,” he added.
Gardow, 42, hails from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Since 2007, he has coached in the Qatar League, first leading the Al Rayyan Sports Club before moving on to the Qatar Sports Club in 2008. He also served as the Qatar men’s national team head coach from 2007 to 2008.