Coach Smith signs two-year deal at Thunder

GARY Smith has signed a two-year deal to return as coach of Worthing Thunder Basketball Club.

Smith, who won EBL Division 1 titles during his previous spell as coach, as well as being a driving force in Thunder’s entry to the BBL, will take over this weekend if he recovers from illness.

Thunder chairman Frank Gainsbury said: “I am very grateful to Gary, and also Sid Fletcher, at the University of Chichester, for their assistance in bringing this appointment to a conclusion.

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“While it was always the intention that Gary would play an active part within the BBL programme this year, within his director of coaching remit, it was also felt beneficial to both parties that he coach the University EBL team.

“As it has transpired, Gary will be back as head coach with Thunder and will continue to be involved with University of Chichester with a view to developing and identifying potential talented players to provide them with the opportunity to play at the highest level in the sport.

“Gary’s appointment will be for both this season and the next campaign with a view to allowing him to develop and build some stability in the playing squad.”

Fletcher said: “Obviously we are disappointed to lose a coach of Gary’s calibre at this stage of the season, but with Worthing in the situation they found themselves in we were happy to support his appointment. We look at this as the first “promotion” of many from this partnership as our links increase year on year.”