EXPERIENCED international basketball coach Guy Molloy has left the Minerdome to spend more time with his wife and young daughters in Melbourne.
Molloy yesterday announced his resignation as Ballarat Miners head coach and Ballarat Basketball elite programs manager.
He steps down after three years in the joint roles.
Molloy informed Miners players and staff in the 24 hours before making his decision public and definitively ruled out coaching a rival Melbourne club in the South East Australian Basketball League next season.
But it was simply time to put his family first, and that was something he had felt keenly the past month amid demanding junior basketball coaching commitments.
"Unfortunately the demands of needing to be in Ballarat, as much as you need to do the job well, took a really big toll on my family, my daughters," Molloy said.
"It's fair to say my daughters need their dad a lot more than he's been around and that's probably something that's got me down a bit the past month.
"... I've always told all my coaches and players to put their families first, in front of everything and everyone else - now I'm taking my own advice."
Molloy has been actively seeking a development coaching role in Melbourne but made it clear he would still act as a mentor for Miners players and Ballarat juniors when needed.
His international commitments remain unclear, after capturing a FIBA world championship silver medal in July in four years at the helm of the Australian under-17 boys' team.
Winning silver was a clear career highlight for Molloy, who has also been Australian Opals assistant coach and men's under-21 head coach and an experienced National Basketball League and Women's National Basketball League mentor.
This year, he coached the Miners to fifth in the SEABL south conference, missing finals purely on a complicated win-loss ratio.
Guards Shaun Bruce (Cairns Taipans), Kevin White and Dan Joyce (Sydney Kings) have since earned NBL contracts.
Forward Jared Scoines (Sydney Kings) was on an NBL roster last season.
Molloy was proud to have helped these "young guns" reach elite levels in an era where NBL teams are diminishing.
He was also impressed by the development of Miners rookies Anthony Fisher, Lindsay Cole and a "whole bunch of kids you wouldn't know the names of yet" in stepping up their games.
"It's been fantastic for me to get back into grass-roots basketball in juniors and high-end, developing players to get back into NBL," Molloy said.
Molloy has worked hard to develop structures to promote regional players on the Miners' roster. This includes recruitment of emerging talent Kris Blicavs, who hails from Sunbury for next season.
Miners assistant coach Grant Spencer will act as interim head coach, flanked by former head coach Paul Tudorovic, to ensure the team's preseason remains on schedule.
Junior programs start in late February and the BBA hoped to reassess the program before making a decision on Molloy's replacement.
Ballarat Basketball Club president Nick Grylewicz said Molloy's decision was a shock but understood.
"Someone of Guy's calibre is hard to replace ... in my opinion, he's one of the best coaches in Australia," Grylewicz said.
"We have the systems and structures in place ... we'll try to catch our breath and come back in the new year and take our time not to rush decisions."