|29 January 2014|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Newly announced Poland head coach Mike Taylor|
The Polish Basketball Federation (PZKosz) announced on Wednesday that the recruitment process to select the new head coach of their senior national team has been concluded with the appointment of Mike Taylor.
Taylor is currently the head coach of the Maine Red Claws, the affiliate team of the Boston Celtics in the NBA's Development League.
"Mike Taylor is a young and ambitious coach from the United States who knows very well the specifics of European basketball," PZKosz president Grzegorz Bachański commented.
"We were keen on collaborating with a coach who, in addition to managing the senior team, would also engage in individual work with young players and the coaches of our youth teams.
"We have discussed our specific objectives with our new coach.
"If we do not receive a wild card for the World Cup, our goal will be to qualify for EuroBasket 2015.
"From then on we will have the aim of earning a place at the Olympics in Brazil (in 2016) or earning a position that will give us the opportunity to play in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament," the PZKosz president concluded.
Taylor most recently worked in Europe as a member of the Czech Republic's coaching staff.
The 41-year-old American tactician initially joined the Czech team in 2010 and returned every summer as an assistant to head coach Pavel Budinsky until the end of their Qualification Round campaign for EuroBasket 2013.
The capacity however in which Taylor became known on this side of the Atlantic is that of the longest-serving head coach of ratiopharm Ulm.
Taylor took the reins of the German club in 2003 and remained in charge until the end of the 2011 season.
Ulm were still a newly-founded club when Taylor arrived and he steered them to promotion to the BEKO Bundesliga in 2006.
The Baden-Württemberg club have since established themselves as a mainstay of the German top flight.
Taylor's first role at a European club was at fellow German side BV Chemnitz 99, from 2001 to 2002. He then worked for one season at Essex Leopards in the UK before the start of his long reign at Ulm.
He takes over the role of the Polish national team's head coach from Dirk Bauermann, whose spell in charge lasted approximately a year, including last September's EuroBasket in Slovenia.
The German tactician had in turn succeeded Slovenian coach Ales Pipan at the helm in December 2012.
Poland is among the 15 nations to have applied for a wild card for next September's FIBA World Cup in Spain.
The decision on the final recipients of the four wild cards on offer will be made in Barcelona at the weekend.
Should they not be successful in securing a spot in the upcoming World Cup, Poland will join the battle in the 2nd Qualification Round for EuroBasket 2015 in the summer.