Essex Rebels appoint new roles

The University of Essex Rebels basketball programme has announced appointments to two new coaching positions.

After the University’s most successful season in BUCS and a positive finish to the WBBL season, Tom Sadler has accepted the position of Head of Basketball Performance.

Tom who took over coaching in early November, after a couple of heavy defeats, took his first win in the WBBL not long after. Tom will now oversee the development of basketball at the University in an all-encompassing role working with senior teams, university teams, academy programme, junior programme and community programme in support of the objectives of the University of Essex.

“I’m really proud to be named Head of the Programme,” said Tom. “Having the opportunity to lead, and the challenge of continuing to build and grow the sport is something that I’m really looking forward to. This is the dream job for me, being able to come home and give back to the area and local community where my basketball career begun is an incredible feeling. As a programme we are excited about what the future holds as we look forward to next season; showcasing and developing on the building blocks we have put in place this season.”

Ross Norfolk, Basketball England Men’s Division 3 South Coach of the Year, guided the men’s team to the quarter finals of the BUCS championship, and the National League play-off semi-final stage, completes the staffing structure as Assistant Basketball Coach.

Ross commented, “I am thankful for opportunity to join the coaching staff at the University of Essex. A solid foundation has been established over the past few years and I’m excited to continue to grow the programme. The teams had a successful year, and now it’s time to reflect, review and prepare for the new season ahead.”

Susy Davies, Performance Sport Manager added, “Today marks the beginning of a new era for basketball at the University. Ross has been working in a support role here for several years, and I am pleased that we have been able to secure his services for the future. He brings a wealth of experience and has consistently shown his drive and determination to deliver the best possible experience for our student athletes and his passion for basketball is infectious amongst the young athletes that he coaches.

“Tom has stepped up this year, and shown his real ambition in developing basketball in the local area as well as his desire to coach at a professional level. After a highly successful playing career Tom has driven this programme to new heights, winning the BUCS premier league, and taking the team to the BUCS championship semi-final stage, the furthest any basketball team from Essex has got in the competition.

“Both Tom and Ross have grown up in the Colchester area, and their success in basketball is an inspiration to the local basketball community. We look forward to working with them and developing basketball at the University and in the wider community”