Yvette McCausland-Durie calls time with Pulse
After guiding Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse through its most successful era, popular coach Yvette McCausland-Durie will step down at the end of the current ANZ Premiership season.
Success has gone hand-in-hand for the McCausland-Durie / Pulse combination since she was anointed head coach in 2017 when the new domestic competition was launched.
McCausland-Durie can look back on her four years with a huge amount of satisfaction. In that first year the Pulse made the post-season for the first time in the club’s history, going on to host a Grand Final for the first time in 2018 before claiming their first-ever title in 2019.
"I just spend a lot of time away from home, that’s the key driver for this decision," McCausland-Durie said.
"Also, there needs to be that opportunity to keep growing this (Pulse/Netball Central) and that often means a change is needed."
McCausland-Durie has made the commute from her Palmerston North family and home to the Pulse’s Wellington base multiple times a week over the four years and this season has been extra challenging with the number of away games.
Always upbeat, affable and easy-going, the widely admired and respected coach will leave behind an outstanding legacy after building a happy, vibrant, competitive and winning culture at the Pulse but is now quite content to pass the baton on.
"Since I’ve been here, we’ve been really focussed about what we wanted to achieve in four years," she said.
"That was part of our vision and I feel really pleased to have been a part of that as well as that challenge of leaving something in a better place than you found it.
"There’s still room to continue to develop, so from a timing perspective around the organisation and where the team’s at, it is good. We’ve got a good base, some really good systems in place and structures but there’s always room for somebody else to keep advancing that.
"When you look at the player group, there’s more to do in terms of how do we keep creating sustainability and genuine pathways for that next layer of players. I’m really, really pleased with where we’ve got to."
At a key point in her coaching career when landing with the Pulse four years ago, McCausland-Durie was looking to be challenged and certainly wasn’t disappointed in that respect.
"I’ve loved it all but the big one is developing yourself. In particular, for me, having Wai (Taumaunu) as our High Performance Director has meant I have constantly been able to learn, to grow and be challenged. I have loved that bit and I love all the people who have been involved.
"That’s the nice thing, you finish in a good space. You finish on your own terms and absolutely loving the job. There will be so many things that I will miss. I really, really enjoy the competition and the challenge of that and where the players really extend you, being in a team environment is so cool."
With the season still in progress, the timing of this announcement is far from ideal and Netball Central are disappointed the circumstances around deadlines for next year’s player signings have prevented them from completing a more seamless transition.
"Yvette is a phenomenal woman. She had a vision coming in and it wasn’t just about netball, it was also about good people," Pulse CEO Fran Scholey said.
"She has been pivotal in that change and she will certainly leave this organisation in a better place.
"My appreciation also goes out to her whānau who have sacrificed time with their mum/wife for us, but I take heart in her returning to be with them in the Manawatu.
"The kaupapa we uphold as an organisation, ideally, would allow us to celebrate Yvette’s years of hard work during the post-finals week, and recruit both coach and players post-season.
"However, the timelines are beyond what we can control and we must accept that in order for the organisation to have certainty on who is going to continue to move us forward, and just as importantly, ensuring the players have assurance on who will be coaching them, we regrettably have to make this announcement now."