Rhine River Rhinos Wiesbaden have recently announced that Adam “Macca” McMullen will be their new head coach for the 2021/22 season. Macca comes to Wiesbaden having previously coached London Titans in the British Premier League. He has been around the sport his whole life as his dad is a former player. He’s always had a passion for the game and is excited about coaching a professional team. He spoke to Rollt.’s Dylan Cummings about the upcoming season.
Why did you decide to coach Rhine River Rhinos Wiesbaden next season?
“It has always been a goal of mine to coach at the highest level and when this opportunity came up to coach the Rhinos it was one that I wouldn’t turn down. The German league has always excited me. When I was 25, I set myself a target to be coaching in Europe (specifically in Germany) by the time I was 30 – and I have reached this target as I don’t turn 30 until February. I think it’s also important to mention that in the UK, we have not been able to play games for the last season and a half due to the pandemic, but Germany’s top division was able to compete last season so just in case COVID picks up again, I am in a better place to be able to continue coaching and further my own development.
Rhinos are an exciting team and so far, I think I will really enjoy what the future holds for myself within the Rhinos community. I’m looking forward to working in that professional setting they have built. I truly believe it will help me to both help the players develop and grow as a coach myself.”
What do you intend to bring to the team?
“I hope to bring in some fresh energy and new ideas of how to play. I would say I am a very player and person focused coach. I’m able to support the team and lead them to a high-ranking finish by the end of the season. I’m looking to keep improving as the seasons go by.”
How would you describe your coaching style?
“Macca style. I have a very holistic style of coaching. I believe it’s important to make sure that the athletes are happy and are able to reach and play at their full potential.”
What challenges do you think you will face whilst coaching in the RBBL?
“As a close coaching friend said to me recently: ‘Welcome to the big leagues.’ I expect exciting and hard games with a huge amount of talent within the league. I would like to think we stand a good chance of success, and that we will be able to stand our own and bring it to the other teams within the league.”
How does Rhinos’ style of play differ to London Titans?
“I think it’s difficult to say. I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s a difference in styles but for a start I have a couple more bigs at Rhinos as opposed to mid-point focused line-ups at Titans, but there are strengths to both teams/clubs for sure. The biggest difference will be the amount of training Rhinos will have compared to Titans. All Titans players work full-time and play basketball at the weekends or train a couple of times a week. Whereas most of the Rhinos players are full-time athletes and their focus is on training daily and games every week. So, I’d say it’s very different on that part but not so much on the style of play.”
What are your goals for next season?
“Personally, I want to win as many games as possible and finish higher than where Rhinos finished last season and then keep building on that foundation of ‘keep moving forward’ whilst putting in the hard work both on and off the court.”
Who has influenced you the most in your coaching career?
“I have been influenced by a lot of coaches and players. I’ve been in the sport all my life and have grown up with and around a lot of amazing coaches. But if I was to narrow it down, I would say everyone at London Titans, Worcester Wolves, Greenbank, and Vikings wheelchair basketball clubs.
Then coach-to-coach I would say, Mat Foden, Miles Thompson, Stevie Cain, Lou Sugden, Matt Sealy, and Simon Fisher who have all been amazing support and almost like mentors over the last few years of my coaching journey so far. Also, I can’t not mention my ride or die coaching brother Ollie Griffith-Salter who I started out coaching with.”
What’s the most memorable piece of advice that another coach has given you?
“Mat Foden told me back in 2018 to quit my current job and coach full-time. To be fair, he probably didn’t think I would listen to him but unfortunately I did and now I will get to beat him this season which will be fun.”
If you could coach four players who you’ve never coached before, who would you choose and why? (Can’t choose Rhinos players)
“This is seriously difficult to whittle down to just four, but I would have to say in no particular order:
Rose Hollermann – having come across her a few years ago and following her career in the American college system and now in Europe she’s just an absolutely outstanding player and watching her play the last couple of seasons at Gran Canaria she is adding something special to the Spanish league and showing that women can stand their own in a male-dominated league and boy can that girl shoot.
Tom O’Neill-Thorne – A phenomenal all-round player, watching him on court is such a beautiful sight – it’s like it’s a dance or something. Even as a spectator and fan it’s exciting to see this guy’s future in the sport.
Jitske Visser – Probably the player who has been on my coaching Wishlist for the longest time. She’s had such an outstanding career so far. I have been following her career from probably 2009, when I saw her play at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester. Regardless of gender and classification, she offers so much to any team she plays for, she truly is an outstanding athlete.
Jannik Blair – Without a doubt one of my favourite players to watch. In 2018, I was able to watch him play in person at the Nations Cup Cologne and at the World Championships in Hamburg. He’s a true worker and his skill level and basketball IQ is amazing.”
Thanks for your time mate!
Rollt. would like to thank Macca McMullen for the interview!
Macca McMullen Profile:
Date of Birth: 10/02/1992 (aged 29)
Hometown: Liverpool, Merseyside
Classification: 5.0 (AB)
Started playing: 2006
Started coaching: 2016
Future Club: Rhine River Rhinos Wiesbaden, GER (starting September 2021)
Former Clubs (Played For)
_North West U15s, GBR (2006)
_North West U19s, GBR (2007)
_St Helens Vikings, GBR (2007-09)
_Liverpool Greenbank, GBR (2009-12)
_Worcester Wolves, GBR (2014-17)
Former Clubs (Coached)
_Worcester Wolves, GBR (2016-18)
_North West U19s, GBR (2018)
_GLL & Aspire London Titans, GBR (2018-21)
Interview: Dylan Cummings | Photo: Dave Dunbar / Purple Swan Photography