The Wagga Heat believe former club stalwart Matt Bishop's intimate knowledge of the system and knack for developing junior talent makes him a perfect fit for their rebuild after his appointment as head coach for the rest of the season.
Bishop takes over the reins of the Waratah Basketball League club after John Norman's abrupt exit on the weekend after the side's sixth loss in seven games this year.
Senior players strongly pushed for Bishop's appointment at a Wagga Wagga Basketball Association (WWBA) board meeting on Monday.
A number of the team's younger players have been coached by West Wyalong-based Bishop previously, who has a strong history of coaching junior state representative teams and currently heads up the Southern Sport Academy's basketball program.
"It's a good fit from a coaching perspective, he's been honing his craft with the academy and doing state junior coaching," WWBA senior representative director Summa Stephens said.
"The only conversations we've had is to coach for the rest of the season (so far)."
Heat captain Zac Maloney said the team had full faith Bishop could help the team be competitive for the rest of the year while building for the future.
Bishop has already watched several Heat games this year as his son Chaz plays on the team.
"Matty's definitely one of the most respected guys around our association and Riverina basketball," Maloney said.
"He's already got the players' respect on what he's like as a coach and a player, everyone's excited to play under him."
"A lot of our young guys have already had a lot do with him,and a couple of our older guys have played alongside him."
The Heat play on the road against the Dubbo Rams on Saturday, while women's side Wagga Blaze take on Tamworth at Minto Sports Centre.
Defending premiers the Blaze are looking to build on a strong 2-1 start to their title defence.