Date of Birth: -
Place of Birth: -
Team 2007-08: Did not coach any club team
Career: Adelaide Lightning (Australia-WNBL, 1993-2004),
International career: Australian National Team (assistant coach, 1995-2001), Australian National Team (head coach, 2001-08),
Stirling led the defencejobs Opals to a bronze medal at the 2002 FIBA world championship in China, to silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, to gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and to gold at the 2006 FIBA world championship in Brazil.
The Opals were the first senior Australian Basketball team to win a world championship. On the way to claiming the gold medal, the Opals remained undefeated. “It must be understood quite clearly that the world championship gold medal in 2006 was the end result of many years of hard work,” Stirling said. “Now there is a great sense of belief in the group we have that we can win a gold medal at the Olympics in Beijing. “We know what is needed to get to the gold medal game and we know what is required to win it.”
Jan Stirling has had a long and illustrious association with Australian basketball. Her association with the Australian women’s team started in 1974 when she played with the Opals. In 1975 the 162cm South Australian played in the World Championships in Colombia. After five years of service she turned her attention to coaching and led the Adelaide Lightning to 12 straight Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) finals appearances between 1993 and 2004, winning championships in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998. She was WNBL Coach of the Year in 1993, she became the assistant coach of the Opals in 1995 and was elevated to the position of head coach in 2001.
“Now that we are on top or close to it, staying there is going to be the challenge,” Stirling said. “If we work really hard we could perhaps do something very special.” The Opals are currently ranked number 2 in the world behind the United States, despite their unprecedented victory at the world championship in September 2006. “America are always going to be flagged number one, it doesn’t matter what campaign you go into. They won bronze at the worlds, but I am sure they’ll still be rated number one for the Olympics, so there is that hurdle.”