Charlotte 49ers head men’s basketball coach Ron Sanchez has announced the hiring of Aaron Fearne (pronounced – Fern) as assistant coach. Fearne joins the 49ers coaching staff after spending the last nine years as head coach of the National Basketball League’s Cairns Taipans, which plays in Australia’s top professional league.
“We are excited to have Aaron join our program,” Sanchez said. “He brings a wealth of experience and basketball knowledge to our staff. Aaron is a tireless and passionate worker that will impact our program with his coaching, recruiting and player development.”
In his nine seasons at the helm of the Taipans, he coached in 264 games and guided them to three appearances in the NBL playoffs. In 2011, he led the team to an appearance in the NBL Finals. In 2015, he coached the Taipans to a record 21 wins and another appearance in the league finals while garnering NBL Coach of the Year honors. In 2017, he guided the Taipans to a second place finish in the regular-season and a trip to the NBL semifinals.
Prior to becoming head coach, Fearne spent seven seasons (2001-08) as an assistant coach for the Taipans. During that time, he also served as the head coach of the Cairns Taipans Academy, which is a junior development academy which he created. Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes and former NBA player Nathan Jawai came out of the Academy.
For four seasons, he was head coach of the Cairns Marlins (2006-09) which plays in the Queensland Basketball League. In 2006 and 2007, he earned Queensland Basketball League Coach of the Year honors. In 2007 and 2009, he helped the Marlins capture the league title. In 2007, he guided the Marlins to the Australian Basketball Association National Championship.
Fearne also enjoyed a successful playing career in Australia. From 1998-2005, he played for the Marlins. As a player, he helped the Marlins capture two national championships. From 1999-2001, he played for the Taipans.
Fearne, who is from Cairns, Queensland, Australia, played college basketball in the United States. He played the 1993-94 season at Western Wisconsin Technical College. Then, he played the 1994-95 season at Mid-State Technical College where he earned an associate’s degree. He played his final two seasons at Mayville State University in Mayville, North Dakota. In 1997, he graduated from Mayville State with a degree in Business Administration.
Fearne and his wife Amy have a son, Tyler and a daughter, Jasmine.
“I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity Coach Sanchez has given not only to me but also my family,” Fearne said. “I am looking forward to helping build the culture of the program, implementing a style of play and aiding in the development of these young men both on and off the court. Coach Sanchez has come from programs that have built over time with great success and I have no question it will also happen here in Charlotte”.