Paul Henare stepping down as Breakers head coach

Henare has been head coach for the past two NBL seasons.
Henare has been head coach for the past two NBL seasons. Photo credit: Photosport

Head coach Paul Henare is making a surprise exit from the New Zealand Breakers.

Henare has rejected the offer of a contract extension by the Auckland-based franchise and will step down from his role immediately.

The former Tall Blacks veteran informed Breakers owner, Matt Walsh, on Sunday that he's no longer interested in the position.

"We have been in discussion with Paul about a new deal, but he has decided to pursue other opportunities," Walsh said in a statement.

"Paul was offered a contract extension during the season which he turned down, and I have since been in further discussions with him, but he has made the decision to move on. 

"We wish Paul all the best in the future and thank him for his huge contribution to the club, on and off court."

The 39-year-old has been a long-time servant of the club, spending eight years as a player there before moving into a coaching role as an assistant in 2013. He was promoted to the top job in 2015.

"I will not be looking to re-sign with the club for next season. I wish the club the best for the future and thank the Breakers family for all the support over the last 15 years," Henare said, according to Fox Sports Australia.

With Taipans coach Aaron Fearn having stepped aside at the end of the team's campaign this year, there are strong suggestions emerging that Cairns could be Henare's likely next destination.

Henare guided to the Breakers to the semi-final stage of the NBL playoffs in 2017/18 where they were swept 2-0 by Melbourne United.