John Rillie

Australian basketball player and coach

John Rillie
Rillie with the Perth Wildcats in 2022
Perth Wildcats
PositionHead coach
Personal information
Born (1971-11-04) 4 November 1971 (age 52)
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Listed height195 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Listed weight85 kg (187 lb)
Career information
High schoolHarristown State
(Toowoomba, Queensland)
  • Tacoma CC (1991–1992)
  • Gonzaga (1992–1995)
NBA draft1995: undrafted
Playing career1995–2010
PositionShooting guard
Coaching career2011–present
Career history
As player:
1995Brisbane Bullets
1996–1998Adelaide 36ers
1998–2002West Sydney Razorbacks
1999–2000Penrith Panthers
2002AEK Athens
2002–2004West Sydney Razorbacks
2004–2009Townsville Crocodiles
2009–2010New Zealand Breakers
As coach:
2011–2017Boise State (assistant)
2017–2022UC Santa Barbara (assistant)
2022–presentPerth Wildcats
Career highlights and awards

John Peter Rillie (born 4 November 1971)[1] is an Australian basketball coach and former player. He currently serves as head coach of the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League (NBL). He played 16 seasons in the NBL between 1995 and 2010 before embarking on a coaching career in the United States' college system.

Early life

Rillie was born in Toowoomba, Queensland.[2] Growing up in Toowoomba, he played basketball, cricket and Australian rules football.[3] He attended Harristown State High School.[4]

College career

Rillie moved to the United States in 1991 to play college basketball for Tacoma Community College. In 1992, he transferred to Gonzaga, where he played the next three years. During his three seasons with the Bulldogs, he helped lead the team to the 1994 National Invitation Tournament and the school's first berth in the NCAA tournament in 1995.[5]

Professional career

After graduating college, Rillie returned to Australia and debuted in the National Basketball League (NBL) during the 1995 season with the Brisbane Bullets, where he won NBL Rookie of the Year. He joined the Adelaide 36ers in 1996 and played three seasons for them, winning a championship in 1998.[2]

For the 1998–99 NBL season, Rillie joined the West Sydney Razorbacks.[2] During the 1999 and 2000 off-seasons, he played for the Penrith Panthers in the SEABL.[6][7]

After four seasons with the Razorbacks and a grand final appearance in 2001–02, Rillie moved to Greece for the 2002–03 season to play for AEK Athens. He returned to Australia in December 2002[8] and re-joined the Razorbacks.[2][9] On 1 March 2003, he scored 45 points and made eleven 3-pointers in a 113–102 win over the Canberra Cannons.[10] His 23.6 points per game during the 2002–03 NBL season earned him the scoring title.[11][12] He had another 45-point game during the semi-finals of the 2003–04 NBL season.[13] That season, he was named All-NBL First Team and helped the Razorbacks reach the grand final.[2] He was subsequently granted a release from the final year of his contract with West Sydney.[14]

In June 2004, Rillie signed with the Townsville Crocodiles.[14] On 18 February 2009, he scored 34 points and made ten 3-pointers in the Crocodiles' 103–96 win over the Perth Wildcats in the elimination final.[15][16]

His final season in the NBL came in 2009–10 with the New Zealand Breakers. He was limited to 12 games.[17]

In 481 NBL games, Rillie averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game.[9]

National team career

From 1997 to 2004, Rillie was a member of the Australian Boomers. He represented Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics.[5]

Coaching career

In 2010, Rillie returned to the United States and during the 2010–11 season, he served as the director of basketball operations for the Boise State Broncos.[5]

In 2011, Rillie was appointed an assistant coach of the Broncos, a position he held for six seasons.[5] In 2017, he was hired as an assistant coach for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.[18] After his first season with the Gauchos, he was promoted to associate head coach.[19] The 2021–22 season was his fifth with the Gauchos and fourth as associate head coach.[19]

Rillie was an assistant coach for the Australian Boomers at the Tokyo Olympics in July and August 2021, helping guide the Boomers to the bronze medal.[20]

On 11 July 2022, Rillie was appointed head coach of the Perth Wildcats of the NBL on a three-year contract.[21][22] Following the 2022–23 NBL season, he served on the New York Knicks coaching staff during the 2023 NBA Summer League.[23]

Personal life

Rillie and his wife Heidi have three children.[5] Heidi is American but holds dual Australian citizenship. Their children were all born in Australia.[24]


  1. ^ "John Peter Rillie". Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "John Rillie". Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  3. ^ Smith, Craig (15 March 1995). "The Life Of Rillie". Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  4. ^ Harms, John (10 August 2021). "Almanac Basketball: When the Toowoomba Mountaineers (and John Rillie) were on top of The World". Retrieved 10 July 2022. It's a long way from the bumpy Harristown High School outdoor courts to Spokane, Washington.
  5. ^ a b c d e "John Rillie". Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Player statistics for John Rillie – 1999". SEABL. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  7. ^ "Player statistics for John Rillie – 2000". SEABL. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  8. ^ "D-Day looms for Rillie". 7 December 2002. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Player statistics for John Rillie – 2002/03". NBL. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Rille Leads Pigs To Win Over Cannons". 1 March 2003. Archived from the original on 29 April 2003. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  11. ^ "All Time Leaders". Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  12. ^ "Rillie Wins Scoring Title". 4 March 2003. Archived from the original on 29 April 2003. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  13. ^ "Rillie destroys Wollongong". 15 March 2004. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Crocs snap up Rillie". 8 June 2004. Archived from the original on 11 August 2004. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  15. ^ Crawford, Adrian (18 February 2009). "Hot-handed Rillie snuffs late Wildcats charge". Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  16. ^ "Rillie fires Crocs to famous win". 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  17. ^ "Player statistics for John Rillie – 2009/10". NBL. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  18. ^ "Former Boise State Assistant Coach John Rillie Joins UCSB Basketball Staff". Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  19. ^ a b "John Rillie". Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  20. ^ Smith, Steve (9 August 2021). "Rose-gold Boomers' legacy about more than just bronze medal win". Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  21. ^ "John Rillie appointed Perth Wildcats head coach". 11 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  22. ^ "John Rillie is Staying Put in Perth". 16 May 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  23. ^ O'Donoghue, Craig (5 July 2023). "Perth Wildcats coach John Rillie joins Keanu Pinder, Luke Travers and Fleur McIntyre at NBA Summer League". Archived from the original on 5 July 2023.
  24. ^ "John Rillie Press Conference - 11 July 2022". YouTube. Perth Wildcats. 11 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Rillie.
  • NBL player profile
  • UC Santa Barbara Gauchos coach profile
  • Boise State Broncos coach profile
  • profile
  • "Q & A: Boise State's John Rillie" at
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Perth Wildcats current roster
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Adelaide 36ers 1998 NBL champions
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NBL season scoring leaders