Marc Steutel is Newcastle Eagles new head coach.

The obvious choice. The right choice. The 37-year-old, who steered Great Britain’s men into the EuroBasket finals, finally gets an overdue opportunity to helm a team in the British Basketball League.

“Overjoyed,” he declared after the early favourite to succeed Ian Macleod was confirmed in post on Friday, marking a return to the club where he once was a junior coach within the Eagles’ community programme while later spending one season as Fab Flournoy’s assistant.

Since then, it has been a question of ‘when?’ he would get a shot in the BBL with successful spells with GB’s Under-20 men and with lower league Teesside Lions.

He came close once – appointed by Plymouth Raiders but then seeing the job offer withdrawn. This time, the call came and there will be no going back.

“Every step of my coaching journey has involved significant touch points with Newcastle Eagles,” he said.

“That’s why I’m overjoyed to be the new head coach.

“Timing is everything and it really does feel like the right moment for me to be making this move.

“I’m 37, a British coach and really proud of what I’ve achieved so far. But this feels like the first step on the next stage of my coaching journey.

“Everything that I am as a person and as a coach has led me to this point and I can promise the Newcastle fans that nobody will outwork me.

“I will do everything in my power to give the city, the club and its supporters a basketball team that they can be proud of.”

Steutel surely faces a re-build of the last traces of the extraordinary Flournoy era that provided the foundation for Macleod to lift three trophies in two seasons before this term’s fall from grace that ultimately cost him his job.

Finishing out of the playoffs for the first time since 2000, there will be tough calls to make on the futures of long servants like Rahmon Fletcher and Darius Defoe.

“We’re excited to have Marc join the Eagles and to see what he can achieve at BBL level after consistent success both internationally and domestically,” said Newcastle’s Managing Director, Paul Blake.

“Marc started his coaching career with the club so we’ve known each other for many years and it’s great to see him return.

“We’re already looking forward to the new season with a new-look Eagles team on and off the court.”

Steutel will combine the overhaul with his role as Nate Reinking’s stand-in with GB and this summer’s World Cup qualifiers and EuroBasket in September.

“My role with Great Britain is something that Paul Blake and I have discussed at length,” he said.

“And for as long as I have the opportunity to be a part of the national team set-up we both feel it’s a situation that can be mutually beneficial.

“Of course, my primary focus will be on the Eagles this summer and I can’t wait to get my feet under the table and start recruiting a team that Newcastle fans can really get behind.

“I’ve always been a fan of this club and, like every other supporter, I don’t like seeing them out of the playoffs.

“My job is to deliver the right approach and the right vision and to ensure that we’re not in the same position again.

“We will compete in the way a club like Newcastle should compete and I’m confident in saying that.

“I’m fully aware of the heritage of this club, the stature of the players that have pulled on an Eagles vest in the past and the legacy that they’ve created.

“It’s something I respect and something I hope to build on.”

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