Mar 08 2024

Basketball Ireland announce Masters coaches for coming summer

Basketball Ireland have appointed seven coaches to lead our teams through various international tournaments in the coming months, culminating in the FIMBA European Championship in Italy in June. 

Teams will compete in both men's and women's competitions in Over 40, Over 50 and Over 60 level, as well as Over 65 men.

Lets take a closer look at the appointments. 

Glenn Miller

Glenn Millar O40 Women

Glenn started his career in basketball playing with Notre Dame which became Denny Notre Dame.

Coaching became a passion under the tution of John O'Connor and Dave Fitzsimons. He started coaching in various schools and then became a player coach in Kilcock Tigers and guided them to successive promotions from Division 4 to Division 2 of the Dublin League.

Next up was a stint as player coach in Naas men's basketball club, before heading back to Kilcock Tigers to coach their U16 boys. A couple of years ago now, Glenn got involved with Liffey Celtics, coaching their U18 Girls team to a Dublin League, Dublin Cup and a second round of the U18 Women's National Cup. Currently, he is coaching their U16 Girls team.

Among his highlights is being involved in the coaching team for the Ireland U16 Boys 2023. They had a fantastic year, capturing the Four Nations under head coach Dr. Michael Lynch. 


Kieran Leahy O40 Men 

Kieran Leahy had a distinguished playing career in Cork with Neptune BC in both the National League and the Super League before transitioning into coaching at various levels. 

Leahy picked up a bronze medal as part of the coaching ticket for the Ireland U18 team who won bronze at the FIBA European Championships Division 'C' in 2018. He's a three-time U20 National Cup winner, a two time U18 National Cup winner and a Masters National Cup winner as a coach.  Leahy also picked up a Presidents' Cup winning medal during his two year stint as assistant coach in the National League and later the Super League. 

"I am incredibly honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to represent Ireland at the FIMBA European Championships in Italy, next June,"  said Leahy.  Im really looking forward to coaching the team and watching the other Irish teams compete at the highest level. It will be a fantastic personal experience and an amazing opportunity as a coach to go up against the best in Europe."

"The Masters programme has been a brilliant way for all the players and coaches to reconnect with the game and former teammates and opponents. Its a fantastic addition to the Irish Basketball scene and has been growing and going from strength to strength over the last  number of years. All the people involved are very passionate and dedicated to keeping the game alive for the older members of our community & I cant wait to get started and put the players and team through their paces, in preparation for the Championships," he added.

Jay Fazande_1

Jay Fazande O50 Women

Photo Credit: Michelle LaGrue 

Jay Fazande has been a constant figure in the Irish basketball scene for the last two and a half decades. Fazande played college basketball in the United States at Fordham University in the NCAA D1, finishing as their All-Time Assists Leader, as well as being inducted into their Hall of Fame.

He would later go onto coach at Fordham for two seasons and a further year at The Merchant Marine Academy at the NCAA Division 3 level. In Ireland he's coached the women's team in UCD for 26 years, while also being involved with Templeogue BC for almost a decade, running camps and academies for the club. 

"I'm really excited about joining the Irish team setup," said Fazande. I can't wait to get started with the ladies and looking forward to a successful tournament."


Martin Conroy O50 Men

Martin Conroy has spent 21 years as head coach of SETU Carlow Basketball Club, who currently play at the National League level in both men's and women's competition. He's also currently Director of Coaching at Clonaslee Basketball Club in his native Laois, while he has previously been head coach of the Ireland U20 Women's programme.

Better known as Kojack to many in the basketball community, Martin is married to wife Jayne, with three children, Kyna, Jake and Doireann. He is also a keen golfer in his spare time. 

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Conroy said: "Having coached in the Dublin Masters last year, I’m truly looking forward to coaching our Irish Over 50’s Men’s Squad this summer. It’s a fantastic privilege and honour to be involved in the programme and I look forward to working with this fantastic group of men in Italy in June. It’s a very exciting project and we have magnificent players who will represent their country with pride."


Niall Mc Dermott O60 Men

Niall McDermott has been appointed Ireland Men's Over 60 for the forthcoming FIMBA European Championships in Italy in June.

A native of Donegal,Niall has been coaching for over 20 years starting with North Star in Derry and moving to LYIT, where he was head coach for 7 years. He is currently assistant coach with Limerick Sport Eagles in the National League, where they finished as runners-up in the Presidents' Cup in 2024.

“This is a strong squad with evergreen legends like Ed Randolph and Jerome Westbrooks, ably backed up by shooting guards like Todd Gfeller and Sean Wynne," said McDermott. "It's a real national squad too with players from Dublin, Belfast , Derry, Galway and Cavan. They have been training regularly for the past year and I am excited to see how the team can compete at European level.” 

Mike Lydon

Mike Lydon - O60 Women 

Mike Lydon is one of the founding members and organisers of the Galway Masters Basketball Tournament, as well as still playing on the Masters circuit.

Mike has extensive coaching experience and success at both adult and underage levels. He was a player coach for many years with Titans Frontdoor senior men's team in the Galway League and also was joint-coach for Titans Ladies in both the Galway League and the inaugural Basketball Ireland Intermediate Ladies League in the 2022/23 season. He has also coached numerous underage teams over the years with both girls and boys teams and also experience on the international scenee, having coached Titans teams in Gothenburg, Beauvais and Mulhouse, France where his teams have won or finished in the top 4 of the international tournaments. 

Nationally, Lydon was coach of the Titans U17 boys team who won the Billy Kelly Tournament in 2023 and has brought many teams to All-Ireland Club Competitions and  Inter-regional finals. 

Pat Morahan

Pat Morahan - O65 Men 

Sligo native Pat Morahan has been appointed head coach of the Ireland over 65 basketball team that will compete in the FIMBA European Championships in Italy in June.

Pat began his basketball career with Sligo All-Stars and played National League there before a move to Dublin brought him to Marian, Templeogue and finally Dublin Lions. He coached UCD Lions to the Masters National Cup last year, and has been coaching masters basketball teams for many years. 

"I am delighted to coach these guys. Eamon Molloy and Pat Quirke played for Ireland 50 years ago and they are still playing 50 years later. It’s brilliant to be involved and I am looking forward to June," said Morahan.

The Ireland team has a busy schedule with monthly training sessions and tournaments in Scotland in April and Dublin in May before the big one in June.