Graf not certain to stay with Capitals
Carrie Graf at the University of Canberra on Thursday. Photo: Colleen Petch
Carrie Graf's future with the Canberra Capitals remains up in the air, despite her withdrawal from the race to remain head coach of the Opals on Thursday.
University of Canberra vice-chancellor Stephen Parker announced Graf as the uni's coach in residence, but Graf wouldn't be drawn on whether she will be the Caps' coach next season.
The Capitals play their final game of an unsuccessful season against the bottom-placed West Coast Waves at the AIS Arena on Friday.
With finals out of reach, Graf said an announcement on her future with the club would be made next week.
Graf took over the reins of the national women's team in 2008 and led the Opals to a bronze medal at the London Olympic Games last year. But the role has been made full-time, incorporating the women's program at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, based in Canberra.
She said the time was right to move on from the national program and into a new role with UC.
While her future with the Capitals remains unclear, UC will not prevent her from coaching with the Caps - or anyone else - if she wants to.
''I wouldn't make decisions based on a losing program and walking away from that, I'd make decisions based on, 'is it a right fit for the clubs I'm working with, is it a great professional organisation to be a part of, is it a great team that I can help build and grow'?'' Graf said.
''You weigh all those things up and I think you have to self-reflect too - when is the right time to move on? Is there a new challenge somewhere else?
''All those factors are considered in any decisions you make about your profession.''
Graf will become an adjunct professor of sports studies as part of her university role.
She will teach sport coaching and exercise science, as well as coach the UC basketball teams, as part of the university's plans to become a leader in sport.
The ACT Brumbies are moving to UC's campus as part of a $15 million sports hub.
And Parker was keen to bring more sports on board as well.
''Although we could never be the same as the United States, I think UC has the opportunity to become similar to it where we have teams that are associated with us, huge following among students and graduates and staff, and we build that excitement that you do see in American universities,'' he said.
University of Canberra Union chief executive and former Brumbies winger Joe Roff said the uni wanted to bring ''leaders in their field'' there, ''which Carrie undoubtedly is''.
When asked if the Canberra Raiders would also be approached to become part of the sports complex, Roff replied with a laugh: ''We might work on the Brumbies first and then see how we go from there.''
FRIDAY: Canberra Capitals v West Coast Waves, at AIS Arena, 7pm.