Chris Lucas named Geelong's inaugural WNBL coach

Geelong United have announced dual-WNBL championship winner Chris Lucas as their inaugural coach.

AAP reported earlier this month the WNBL's newest franchise was closing in on signing Lucas, the most recent coach of the Melbourne Boomers side they are replacing in the competition.

On Wednesday, United made the move official, securing the coach on a two-year contract beginning with the 2024/25 season.

"I haven't felt this way in a long time," Lucas said of the chance to coach a brand-new side.

"I'm very excited and very appreciative to (United chief executive) Mark Neeld and the board for giving me this opportunity."

Lucas coached the Townsville Fire to back-to-back WNBL titles between 2014 and 2016 and was an assistant coach with Australia at the 2018 World Cup in Spain, where they won the silver medal.

He coached the Melbourne Boomers for the past two seasons and on both occasions they lost in the semi-finals.

Lucas's coaching resume also features a stint with Adelaide Lightning, whom he guided to their most recent grand final appearance in the 2018/19 season.

Lucas has begun work assembling United's inaugural roster, which looks likely to feature some of the players who played for the Boomers last season. Geelong were granted exclusive rights to negotiate with last season's roster until free agency begins on June 10.

"I want to make sure we create a terrific balance in the team, covering all positions on the floor with a blend of experience and youth," Lucas said.

"Traditionally my teams play an up tempo style and that blend of experience and youth will bring some real excitement to the group."

Geelong are set to play their first match this September as part of the WNBL tournament at HoopsFest, the Perth-based basketball festival announced last week.