Worcester Wolves have named Paul James as their new head coach - replacing the departed Chuck Evans at the helm of the crisis club. And the ex-Guildford boss will now be faced with the challenge of re-building a squad with at least five players axed in the wrangle that surrounded his predecessor's exit.
One of the most successful coaches in the British Basketball League, James made his league debut for his hometown club Leicester weeks after his 17th birthday and after a successful spell with them, he went on to play for nine years with the Bracknell/Thames Valley Tigers and while at both these clubs throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s he won numerous BBL Championships, BBL Trophies and runners-up medals.
In summer 2005, the Guildford Heat were formed and James was appointed head coach. In just four years he led the franchise to two trophies but was jettisoned last summer amid cost-cutting.
Wolves chairman Roger Clarke said. "PJ is out of the very top drawer of British coaches and with him joining the Wolves it shows to our loyal fans, and all other interested parties, that we are over the unfortunate incidents of the last few days. I am really happy at the speed in which we were able to tie up the details with Paul and by inviting one of the best coaches in the UK to work with the Wolves it shows our intentions very clearly.
"The fight back has begun in earnest and we aim not just to free wheel and complete the remainder of this season but also to try hard and really achieve something."
James' first competitive game in charge is in January.
"Having spoken with Roger Clarke it was an easy decision to make," he said. "There is a passion and tradition for basketball at all levels in Worcester and there is, in addition, ambition as well. We want the team to be challenging for BBL honours season after season and we hope to get better and better over the next few years. The potential here is huge and I sincerely hope to bring success to the club before too long. I can assure fans that the hard work of recruiting a team has started and I hope to start announcing players soon."