BILLY Singleton aims to keep Chester Jets at the pinnacle of British basketball by sticking closely to the club's winning formula of continuity and tradition, writes Gary Porter.
The 37-year-old admits he is 'super delighted' to be taking over as head coach from Paul Smith, who will remain at the club as an assistant coach working alongside Mike Burton.
Singleton's first task is to assemble a squad capable of mounting a successful defence of the BBL Championship once the season tips-off in September.
And rather than making wholesale changes, the giant New Yorker is determined to keep together the nucleus of last year's team.
He said: 'Continuity is a major priority. We are trying to retain the core of last year's team. It has also been a bit of a tradition here at Chester over the last few seasons where they have kept a lot of the important players year after year.
'I'm also looking to bring in some new blood and if I manage to bring in some of the players I'm looking for, the fans will be in for a surprise and a treat.'
Singleton is in his second spell with the Jets, the first coming in 1995-97 before he rejoined the club in 2003.
He was assistant player-coach to Smith last season and intends to play on this term, saying he can't wait for the serious action to begin.
He added: 'I'm really excited and I'm definitely looking forward to the new season. I've enjoyed all the time I've spent at the club and it's a really exciting time for me personally. Obviously I'm still going to play. I'll probably play a lot but I feel I can handle that.
'When Mike Burton approached me and explained the situation, I said I'd definitely do it. Mike is one of the most forward-thinking coaches in Great Britain and when you combine that with a master-strategist like Paul Smith, the decision to take over was easy.'
Smith's decision to step down came as no surprise to Jets followers. The 38-year-old had indicated at the end of last season that he was keen to take up a less demanding role in order to devote more time to his family and the business he runs.
Singleton knows he has a tough act to follow as both Smith and Robbie Peers before him had great success, winning eight trophies in the last five seasons.
But he refused to set any specific targets for the season, adding: 'We'll go all out to win and try to be the best we can be.'