Bristol Bears have announced that Pat Lam has signed a long-term contract extension at Ashton Gate, which sees him become director of rugby.
The inspirational leader, who has overseen Bristol’s transformation into one of the most exciting teams in the country, agrees a deal until 2023.
Lam, whose title now becomes director of rugby, led the club to a ninth placed finish in the Premiership – the highest points total for a promoted side since 2007.
In his first season at the helm, the 50 year-old clinched the Championship title, winning a club record 16 successive fixtures in the process.
Bears owner Stephen Lansdown commented: “Pat Lam has reinvigorated this club and given us a clear purpose and direction for the future. He has created an environment and team spirit that the whole city has bought into.
“From the dynamic brand of rugby, to the huge self-belief he has created in the squad, Pat has made the rugby world take notice of what is happening at Ashton Gate. Equally as important, his focus on serving the local community and making a difference off the field has been inspirational.
“Myself, Chris Booy and the board are hungry to see Bristol competing at the very top of the domestic and European competition. Under Pat’s leadership, that ambition can become a reality. We’re excited about the journey ahead over the next four years.”
Since establishing a club vision, ‘To Inspire the Community Through Rugby Success’ in the summer of 2017, Lam and his trusted management team has built a squad brimming with world class internationals and young English talent – and the best is still to come.
🤝 Inspiring our community
🏉 Running rugby
👶 Young talent
🏆 Trophy ambitions
How about 4⃣ more years of Pat Lam? ✍️ pic.twitter.com/UaX6ssOQe4
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) May 22, 2019
“I’m proud to commit my future to Bristol and it was an easy decision to make. We’ve set out a plan to bring a Premiership trophy to Ashton Gate and we’re at the start of that journey,” said Lam.
“It’s been an incredible two years so far in the city. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you have a clear vision and you approach challenges with strong belief and a positive mindset. We have absolute confidence that we will achieve our team goals as Steve [Lansdown], Jon [Lansdown] and Chris [Booy] continue to drive that vision.
“Although my title changes to director of rugby, my passion and enjoyment for hands-on coaching remains stronger than ever. I will be in a tracksuit on the field as long as I can still walk! We are striving for the Bristol Bears to be world class at everything we do, so it’s my responsibility to ensure every department fulfils that expectation.
“I want Bristolians to be fiercely proud of their rugby club and of the players who represent them. Our mission is to produce excellent rugby players and even better people off the field. That’s why our commitment to our community, to developing homegrown talent and to working relentlessly in pursuit of our goals remains stronger than ever.”