Inaugural hall of fame nod for Storm’s ‘Coach T’

Hemel Storm's head coach Dave Titmuss
Hemel Storm's head coach Dave Titmuss

Hemel Storm president Dave Titmuss is to be the first inductee into the Herts Basketball Association’s newly-created Hall of Fame.

A presentation will be made to the 71-year-old during the county Premier League Finals at Oaklands College in St Albans this Sunday at 4pm.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Gazette is happy to clarify that Dave Titmuss is the Storm’s honorary president-only, and not also its head coach as was incorrectly published in the newspaper version of the story yesterday (Wednesday). The Gazette would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. The actual head coach is Dave Allin, who led Storm to the play-offs this season with a second-half surge that saw nine wins in 12 games.

Dave Titmuss begun coaching in the county after sustaining a serious knee injury and the former England under-20 player studied the game in American at top colleges and in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks.

He examined key ideas that underpinned the European approach to the game and has gone on to enjoy an extensive and successful 45-year professional career in the sport.

Known within the sport as ‘Coach T’, he has a reputation for innovative technical expertise, demanding standards and an ability to maximise his players’ potential.

An independent review carried out for UK Sport assessed him as ‘a world-class coach’.

Coach Titmuss has successfully coached senior and junior national men’s teams, and the Great Britain World Student Games and Paralympic squads, leading the latter to a bronze medal at the Athens Paralympics in 2004,

Silver followed at the World Championships in Japan and gold at the Paralympic World Cup, leading GBWBA to appoint him as their performance director/head coach in 2004.

At club level, his teams have won 19 national championships.

Coach Titmuss was one of the founders of the National League club in Hemel Hempstead in 1978 that rose to prominence throughout the 1980s as Ovaltine Hemel Hempstead.

Today, the side competes as Hemel Storm, having been re-established in the 2010/11 season after the franchise was moved to Milton Keynes.

His international achievements include leading England’s senior men to the semi-final round of the European Championships having won the qualifying round for the first time, and achieving first-ever victories over Germany and Hungary.

He is the first British international head coach to lead his country in both standard and wheelchair basketball.

At domestic level in 2008/09 he coached Division One outfit Reading Rockets team to the first undefeated season in all competitions, winning the national league, trophy, cup and play-offs in a 36-0 perfect campaign.

At youth level, Coach Titmuss led the Hertfordshire-based Ware Rebels to a 27–0 perfect season and many of his former players have gone on to play and coach at the top level.

He has been voted Basketball England’s national coach of the year six times.

In 2011/12, he led his hometown Storm to promotion to Division One and they retained the Patron’s National Cup two years in a row.

Coach Titmuss is a sought-after coaching mentor and has tutored more than 2,000 students through all levels of Basketball England coaching awards, and has also worked for world governing body FIBA in Africa coaching national team players and coaches.

He is the author of the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association’s 55,000-word advanced coaching course manual and has delivered two presentations at UK Sport’s World Class Coaching Conference at the Belfry and was the keynote speaker at the launch of their ‘Elite Coach’ programme.

He has also been engaged as a public speaker on leadership to such diverse clients as the NHS and the Bank of America.

The Herts Basketball Association chairman Dave Pollard said: “Over the years there have been a number of great people who have contributed enormously to the development of basketball in the wider sense and to Herfordshire as a county.

“We wish to recognise these contributions with our HBA Hall of Fame and I’m delighted to announce that Dave Titmuss is the person nominated in this inaugural year.”

Coach Titmuss said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be receiving this award from the county where I got my start as a coach.

“I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world either coaching national and club teams or in the pursuit of knowledge about all aspects of basketball that influence how players and teams perform. “I’m still a student of this great game and will continue to play a part in the sport for as long as I can.

“Basketball has been my life and I’ve learned far more from it than I’ve ever contributed to it.”