Basketball / BJ-League

Big Bulls name Katsuhisa new head coach

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Geoffrey Katsuhisa is the Iwate Big Bulls’ new head coach, the bj-league squad announced on Monday.

Katsuhisa steps into the spotlight following Dai Oketani’s departure after three stellar seasons and three playoff appearances at the helm, and the Big Bulls are coming off their first-ever trip to the Final Four after a 41-11 regular season.

Oketani, who captured two titles with the Ryukyu Golden Kings before joining the Tohoku-based Big Bulls, has taken over as the Osaka Evessa bench boss.

The Japan Times broke the story last Tuesday, reporting Iwate’s decision to hire Katsuhisa, a Tokyo native.

Katsuhisa, 34, worked the past four seasons for the Chiba Jets, who entered the bj-league as an expansion team in 2011 and then defected to the NBL for the 2013-14 season. He served as the team’s assistant coach and translator under Eric Gardow, Shinji Tomiyama and Reggie Geary.

Before joining the Jets, Katsuhisa spent one season as the Tokyo Apache’s manager and translator. He worked under head coach Bob Hill, the longtime NBA mentor, before the team folded in the summer of 2011.

Katsuhisa’s younger brother, Michael, is the Shimane Susanoo Magic’s new sideline supervisor. He served in that same capacity for the Yokohama B-Corsairs for the past two seasons.