Brisbane Bullets chief executive Peter McLennan reverses roles in latest power struggle changes

The Brisbane purge continues, and Chief Executive Peter McLennan is the latest to vacate his position at the Bullets.

The club announced on Friday that McLennan had resigned after a sometimes rocky three years at the helm.

Under McLennan, the Bullets have never finished higher than sixth and have been in turmoil this season amid a power struggle with now-sacked general manager and club legend Sam McKinnon.

The club has had three coaches and has only won eight games in NBL23. In December, McLennan dismissed rumors of a split between the couple. Less than two months later, McKinnon left, his job fired because of the Bullets.

McLennan is now vacating the position and the club remains in the hands of former Melbourne United aide Justin Schueller as new head coach and senior basketball adviser to Stu Lash, a close confidant of majority owner Jason Levien.

News Corp understands that McLennan is a key link between Bullets owners and decision makers in the Olympics and state government as the club bids to be the primary user of a new stadium to be built for the Games by 2032.

Levine confirmed that McLennan would remain at the club.

“We understand that Peter feels like he has another opportunity that he can’t miss and we wish him continued success,” Levien said.

McLennan acknowledged the difficulties he faced at work, but said it was a difficult decision to move on.

“It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” McLennan said.

“My three years at this great club have faced many challenges, but the club’s position, both on and off the court, is now focused on future success and I’m proud of the part I played in that.

“While I have an exciting new challenge ahead of me, I look forward to continuing to work with the club in one way or another as there is a lot of work to be done in building a legacy for the Bullets in regards to the club’s future. permanent home.

“I want to sincerely thank our owners, staff, corporate partners and of course our amazing members and fans for their support over the past three years.”

It is understood that the Bullets will move the role left vacant by McLennan from organizational oversight and put new hires into operations, with Schueller and Lash in charge of basketball decision making.


Matt Logue

Interior power struggle in the Brisbane Bullets led to another casualty: club legend Sam McKinnon was fired from his position as general manager of basketball.

The NBL’s worst secret was made public on Tuesday when the Bullets announced the club had parted ways with McKinnon.

The club said the decision to restructure its front office came after an internal review, but the reality is that the move has been in the making for months.

McKinnon was at loggerheads with officials and retired team owners over a desire for more control over the roster and other key decisions as basketball’s general manager.

The problems continued when, in December, after the departure of James Duncan as head coach of the Bullets, he became the club’s interim coach.

McKinnon lasted only four games in the position before the club decided to bring him back to the CEO position after a 1-3 coaching record.

It is understandable that Brisbane players are disappointed by the departure of the NBL championship winner, given that he was respected by the playing group.

McKinnon’s future is said to have become uncertain when the Bullets appointed former NBA official Stu Lash as the club’s senior basketball adviser in December.

In a club statement, Lash thanked McKinnon for his contributions to the club over the past six seasons.

“Sam has had a long and distinguished career in the league and brought his knowledge and experience to the Bullets when he joined the team in 2017,” Lash said.

“We want to sincerely thank Sam for all his efforts and wish him great success.”

McKinnon’s departure comes as the Bullets only have three players under contract for next season: Aaron Baines, Nathan Souby and DJ Mitchell.

The rest of the squad is left in the dark about their future, which is seen as disappointing.

The Bullets also announced that Greg Vanderjagt would remain as assistant coach after he impressed during his tenure as interim coach to end the season.

Lash knows the club “can’t get away” from their disappointing ninth-place finish (8 wins and 20 losses), but everyone involved is determined to change the franchise’s fortunes.

“We are indebted to our incredible supporters for leaving no stone unturned in our pursuit of the continued success of this great club,” Lash explained.

“We are very pleased with the recent appointment of a new head coach, Justin Schueller, who comes to the club with an outstanding basketball record and a huge skill set.

“We exist to win championships for this great city and our dedicated fans.

“We are focused on building a culture of winning and maintaining a club that connects with its fans and community.

“We are sure that when the new season begins, our fans will be delighted not only with the team we have assembled, but also with the direction in which we are moving.

“I want to thank all of our amazing fans for their patience and understanding as we hope to get the Bullets back up the ladder and into the fight for the championship.”

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