The Birmingham Bulls are delighted to announce the appointment of long-serving member, Mark Pagett, as the new Head Coach of the adult team.
Having called time on his illustrious playing career at the end of the 2014 season, after playing in over 200 games for the Bulls and earning multiple Great Britain caps, Mark is making his first foray in to a Head Coach role with the club.
Having previously provided ad-hoc coaching at the Birmingham Bulls and the University of Birmingham Lions, Mark has spent the last three years as the Defensive Co-Ordinator for the University of Northampton Nemesis. Under his tutelage, the defense helped propel the Nemesis in to the BUCS playoffs in 2012, and they narrowly missed out on post season football in 2014.
On his appointment, Mark said, “Anyone who knows me can tell you that the Bulls have been a massive part of my life since I started playing for the Youth team back in 1992. Throughout this time I’ve played with and against some of the greatest players this country has ever produced and I’m very grateful for that. I’ve been lucky, but now it’s time to give something back and to put my heart into producing the next generation of superstars. We have a real opportunity to put the Bulls back on the map in the UK and it starts by providing high quality player and coach development.
Our overarching vision is to become the best American Football experience in the UK. Over the next few weeks we will be announcing several key initiatives that will be focused on teaching core fundamental techniques, not just in drilling players effectively but also in creating opportunities for prospective coaches to learn new skills too. Effective teaching and efficiency in execution are key tenets that I have promised to deliver in this role; they will be the core pillars around which we will build the future of the sport in the UK.
Whilst putting my bid together an infectious buzz has been taking hold with the new coaching team, with some great innovative ideas coming through on new systems and strategies. We’ve also got some big surprise names that are relishing coming back to the Bulls in a coaching capacity and I have every confidence that together we will achieve the objectives that I’m committed to. Former Head Coach Ian Hill’s staff certainly got the ball rolling and did a great job bringing in talent and unifying the squad, with 6 guys being called up to GB in 2014 (Lee Macken, Tom Durn, Andrew Thomas, Dean Thomas, Tom Townend and James Plant). Now we intend to take these foundations on to the next level. We aim to provide all our players with an opportunity to become elite players with tuition and advice to improve their individual athleticism and team game. Mentoring details in fundamental drills, building confidence in contact and improving speed and reactiveness coupled with a thorough understanding of our systems and what we’re trying to achieve. Any player who is willing to get better will do so at the Bulls in the next twelve months; the good habits we develop at practice will become evident in the confidence of our on-field execution. Rest assured we’ve already hit the ground running; it’s going to be really exciting and fun at the Bulls in 2015.”
Newly elected Chairman, Rich Penwright added “First off, I’d like to thank Coach Ian Hill, Ron Gifford, Mark Williams and the rest of our previous coaches for all that they’ve done over the past two years. Without all the hard work that they’ve put in, the club wouldn’t be in the situation it’s in now, so I and the rest of the club are grateful for everything that they’ve done.
With Coach Pagett now running the ship, we’re hoping to build on the foundations that have been laid by the previous coaching staff. He will be walking into a team that has a number of experienced veterans, and a bunch of guys fresh from GB call ups to work with, so we’re hoping the team can take the next step and make it back into the playoffs.”
Coach Pagett has already begun to formalise his coaching staff for the upcoming season, and another announcement will be made in due course when all positions are confirmed.