Gillespie is one of South Australia’s most prolific bowlers and identities, with 54 Sheffield Shield matches and 71 Tests to his name.
He is South Australia’s third-most capped Test player behind the Chappell brothers, taking a total of 259 Test wickets with best bowling of 7/37.
Gillespie famously signed off from Test cricket with a nightwatchman’s knock for the ages, a score of 201 not out in his final match against Bangladesh in Chittagong.
The 45-year-old also has wealth of coaching experience behind him, having led the Adelaide Strikers to their maiden KFC Big Bash title in 2018, and with Yorkshire where he led them first to promotion, and then consecutive county championships in 2014 and 2015.
SACA Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw is assured that the right person has been selected for the role after an extensive process.
“The South Australian men’s head coaching role is the most important in South Australian cricket, and we know that Jason is the right person to invigorate our program and push it forward,” Bradshaw said.
“He is a proud South Australian with a phenomenal coaching resume behind him, we have seen how he has worked with the Strikers, leading them to their first title, and I know Jason will give it his all to steer the Redbacks in the right direction.
“We acknowledge that Jason will be in England until October as he is committed to his role with Sussex until the end of their season.
“This is one of the reasons we are delighted to have Jason on board. He is a quality person, once he starts something he is fully committed.”
Gillespie knows the coaching staff very well through his association with the Strikers and even though he is in England until the end of their domestic season he is able to manage the program and set the direction he wants prior to landing back in Australia.
Bradshaw sat on a selection panel with former Australian cricketers Michael Hussey, Rod Marsh, Belinda Clark and Tim Nielsen to decide the role.
“I’m deeply honoured to be afforded the opportunity to coach the South Australian cricket team,” Gillespie said.
“The chance to work with the players, coaches and off field team at the SACA is very exciting.
“Team SACA is something I’m very much looking forward to being a part of.
“I’m very excited!”