Trailblazers bid a fond farewell to Steve Baxter
He’s been a familiar face around the Derby Basketball scene for almost three decades, but Derby Trailblazers Basketball Club are going to have to get used to the idea of Steve Baxter not being around the club.
Baxter has been the Trailblazer’s Assistant Coach since 2011, but has taken the decision to emigrate and begin a new life in Tenerife.
As a pupil at Noel-Baker school, he was one of many thousands of Derby students who were bitten by the basketball bug. That was purely and simply because of the enthusiasm and passion shown by Trailblazers co-founder and former Head Coach, the late Clarence Wiggins.
As such, Steve became Team Manager for the old Derby Bucks basketball team back in 1991, a position he held through until 1996. He subsequently joined Mansfield Express and then Mansfield Giants as an Assistant Coach, before returning to Derby in 2011 to take up the same position with the Trailblazers.
Derby's Head Coach Matt Shaw, says he’s bitterly disappointed to lose his right-hand man:
"I would like to wish Steve all the best for his new life in Tenerife. Personally I am really gutted as Steve not only has a wealth of knowledge, but has also been a critical part of our coaching staff.
"He’s also a great friend and having an assistant like that makes those long journeys a lot more enjoyable. I can’t blame him though, because it sounds like a wonderful opportunity."
"When I returned from America, I was able to convince Steve to join me in Mansfield. It was a great decision and with the exception of a couple of years when he stayed in Mansfield and I returned to Derby, we've been working together since.
"He spends a lot of time behind the scene watching video and scouting opponents and his knowledge of British basketball is phenomenal," he said.
Everyone within the club would like to offer their thanks to Steve for his tireless hard work and commitment to basketball in Derby and wish him all the best for future happiness abroad.
We are sure he will continue to follow the club’s results from afar and it goes without saying that Steve will always be welcome to visit, whenever he’s back in the UK.
The Trailblazers will announce details of their new coaching arrangements and player recruitment over the coming weeks, ahead of the new season, which starts away to Loughborough Student Riders in the NBL Men’s Trophy on Saturday 24th September.
Their first home fixture comes seven days later, also in the Trophy and against Leicester Warriors.