John Ellis to coach Senior Men from 2017-18 season

John Ellis (bottom, third from right) will be promoted to Head Coach when Nick Drane steps down this summer; Terry Rigby now looks set to continue as team manager (Image: Pavel Kricka)

Ipswich Basketball are delighted to announce that men’s team assistant John Ellis will assume the role of Head Coach next season.

Nick Drane is stepping aside to focus more of his attention on the club’s youth structure, and Ellis, who has assisted him for two seasons, will take over.

“Having worked with Coach Drane for two years, being around him and learning from him has been a great experience and I have enjoyed every minute of it,” he said.

“I look forward to being promoted to the Head Coach role, it is a bitter-sweet situation as I look forward to taking on the position but I will certainly be keeping Coach Drane on speed dial!

“I look forward to the challenges of getting the team mentally and tactically prepared for the new season.”

And Drane has complete faith that in his longtime friend the programme has a capable pair of hands to lead it forward.

“When we were kids and I was a junior playing in Colchester, John was still playing at that point and was a bit of a legend even then, both as a player and as a guy with vast basketball experience – and that was 20 years ago,” said Drane, who has coached the senior team for the past six seasons.

“We all looked up to him back then, and with another 20 years’ experience I have every confidence in his ability to lead the team next season.”

Alongside Ellis, Rob Schatten and team manager Terry Rigby will also be staying with the senior team. Tom Sadler, who as well as being the senior captain is Drane’s assistant at Ipswich Basketball Academy, will also take on some input.

“I’m so thankful that Terry has elected to continue with us for next season,” continued Ellis. “He makes an invaluable contribution to this team on a daily basis and even though a lot of it can go unseen, he makes the life of the coaching staff immeasurably easier and we’re all very grateful to have him.

“I get along very well with both Terry and Rob, and I’m looking forward to working with them, and to having the chance to pick Tom’s brain too.”