Manchester Magic have appointed Simon Fisher as their new Division One head coach.
The former England U16 and Wales U16 coach replaces Aurimas Verbukas, aka Coach Ollie, and will begin work this week.
“It is an immense honour to be asked to lead the senior men’s team,” said Fisher, who has coached at club level with Derby Trailblazers.
“Manchester Magic is a club with a high-quality tradition, which I am committed to become part of. The ethos of the club, embodied by the people involved, was something that has impressed me over the years.”
Fisher has a rich basketball pedigree and is highly respected in the game.
He led England U16s at three European Championships, eventually becoming, in 2011, the first coach to lead an England age group team to promotion to Division A.
This summer, he led Wales U16s to a silver medal in Division C of the European Championships in San Marino.
“I intend to try to build on the fantastic work undertaken by Coach Ollie,” added Fisher.
“His work will provide a foundation for the rest of the season and beyond, as the connection from the senior team, to the academy and U18 team will ensure that we continue to develop players for the next level.
“Thank you to the staff at Manchester Magic for believing in my coaching ability. I look forward to getting started with the players this week.”
Coach Ollie leaves the club after five years, during which time he steered the club to junior success on the national stage, including the U16 Boys National Cup in 2016.
He took over as D1 head coach from Paul Middleton in the summer but announced his intention to resign last week.
“Ollie has been a formidable presence at the club and I’d like to thank him for all the work he has done for us, on and off the floor,” said club chief executive Phil Gordos.
“He has impacted the lives of hundreds of players and I hope he enjoys future success.”
Fisher, who was also lead coach of England U17s from 2011 to 2014, takes over a Magic team that lies bottom of Division One, with one victory from nine games.
They host second-placed Worthing Thunder on Saturday at 6:30pm.