NBL Division Three outfit Teesside Lions have pulled off a major coup with the signing of GB coach Marc Steutel ahead of the 2020/21 season.
A three-time Basketball England Coach of the year (2012, 2013 and 2017), Steutel led Northumbria University to five national championships across NBL Division 1, National Cup, and British Universities Colleges Sports (BUCS) since 2011. In 2016/17, the Liverpool-born play caller steered Northumbria to the D1M regular season title with a 23-3 record, though the team couldn't convert that to a playoff title as they lost 75-57 to Loughborough in the semi-finals.
More recently, Steutel led his country to an 81-73 victory over Germany in the recent EuroBasket 2021 qualifiers as acting head coach, with GB boasting a 7-1 record across 2019/20.
Talking about the appointment, Steutel said: "Firstly I would like to thank James [Thompson, club director and former head coach] and Martin [Anderson, club director] for this opportunity. They have shown me an ambitious, yet credible and achievable vision and it is genuinely exciting for me.
“I have known James and his abilities in basketball for many years and the meteoric strides Lions have made in just a short year are incredible. To attract crowds of 500 is yet another indication of something special happening at the club.
“The ambitions of James and Martin align with my own and I am looking forward to working with them. I am excited about the project, helping to develop the club and ultimately producing an exciting and successful brand of basketball here on Teesside.”
Welcome to @gbbasketball coach Marc Steutel; the new Head Coach of Teesside Lions— Teesside Lions Basketball (@TeessideLions) May 7, 2020
We wanted to give our #basketball community a boost amidst #COVID19 & this news doesnt get much bigger!
Full article: https://t.co/KOM9sJYCmH#teessidelions #signing #news #sports @steutel10 pic.twitter.com/hqfQ7VVbvG
Founded in 2007, the Lions initially impressed in Basketball England's Founders Cup competition before making the step up to the NBL. Part of the league from 2010 to 2013, the side then took the step back to regional competition before their re-emergence into the NBL in 2019/20 with the lofty aim of bringing professional basketball to the area.
The ambitious club utilise a 1200-capacity venue at Eston Sport Academy and regularly pull in crowds of 500 for home games, showcasing the appetite for the sport in the North East.
The Lions finished the 2019/20 season in sixth as part of D3 Northern Conference, with a 9-10 record.
When asked if he was put off by the Lions current standing within the NBL structure, Steutel replied: "I have recently turned down jobs in Europe, BBL and the States, so I can see why it may surprise some people that I have chosen this offer.
"In all honesty, the project is really exciting and to help drive this from an early beginning is appealing."
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