Busch Wins Fourth Coach of the Year Award

After Sevenoaks Suns won the WBBL Championship for the third completed season in a row, Head Coach Len Busch has been voted by his peers as the Molten WBBL Coach of the Year for 2020-21. Amazingly, it is the fourth successive time that he was won this accolade, as the only coach to win it more than once since the inception of the WBBL in 2014.

Suns finished the regular season campaign with an excellent record of 19-1, after winning 18 straight games in league play between mid-September and the end of April – that resulted in Busch twice winning the Molten WBBL Coach of the Month. The decisive victory came at the end of that run, beating second-placed Leicester Riders 63-51 at home, holding Riders to just six second quarter points and 10 in the fourth, keeping their nearest rival to the lowest points tally of their season.

Amazingly, that 95% winning percentage isn’t even the best that they have achieved under Busch’s stewardship, as it matched their record of 2017-18 and was second to their perfect 22-0 campaign in 2018-19. That success has been built on consistency, with the majority of players returning including Cat Carr, Ta’Yani Clark, Renee Busch, Janice Monakana and Irene Garrido-Perez, joined by the astute signing of Lavinia Da Silva from London Lions.

Sevenoaks showed that experience as they had consecutive single-digit wins over title rivals London Lions and then Newcastle Eagles – the team that eventually knocked them out of the Play-offs – in mid-March, before a similar feat on the road at fourth-placed Nottingham Wildcats, before taking the crucial head-to-head over Lions in the title race in early April.

That opened a hectic final month of the season during which they played every two to three days, 12 games in total, of which they remarkably won 11. That included eight games on the road, travelling as far north as Caledonia Pride and as far west as Cardiff Met Archers; as well as winning all six games where they played back-to-back on consecutive days.

Sevenoaks finished the regular season as the best three-point shooting team in the league at an accuracy of 36.9%, and as the team that best looks after the ball, committing just 13.1 turnovers per game. Among the best at both ends, they were second in the defensive rankings as one of only two teams that averaged fewer than 60 points conceded (58.9), close to 10 points better than the third best team in that regard.

It was a tight race for this award, in which seven different coaches received at least one nomination, with Busch leading the way with three to edge out Jesper Sundberg and Mark Clark.