West Bromwich Albion are today delighted to confirm the appointment of Premier League Manager of the Year Tony Pulis as the club’s new Head Coach.
Pulis has agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Baggies and will take charge after today’s Barclays Premier League fixture at West Ham.
His appointment takes his management career into a 23rd year, a career highlighted by landmark roles establishing Stoke City as a Premier League force before last season’s remarkable rescue of Crystal Palace from the threat of relegation.
It is the second time in four years Albion have appointed a reigning Premier League Manager of the Year. That was the title held by Roy Hodgson when he was named Head Coach in February 2011 and the same award was bestowed upon Albion’s new Head Coach for his acclaimed revival of Palace last season.
The Eagles finished 11th after the Welshman took control of a team holding just four points from 11 games and placed six points from safety.
He needs little further introduction to Hawthorns fans who saw his Stoke team become such a thorn in Albion’s side throughout a seven-year stint in the Potteries which transformed the club.
Pulis, who left Palace before the start of this season, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to accept the job and I do so with a simple but important message for the Albion fans and everyone at the club.
“Every successful club is built on unity and that is what I shall strive to help bring to Albion. We need everyone together from top to bottom – the supporters, all the staff, the players, everyone who has an interest in the club’s welfare.
“With that, we can go forward together and hopefully take this club up the Premier League.”
The Newport-born Pulis holds the proud record of never suffering relegation as a manager and he arrives with Premier League survival the priority target outlined by the Albion board.
The club’s Technical Director Terry Burton said: “We are delighted to secure a man of Tony’s calibre and proven ability.
“He made it clear that this position excited him and that he was eager to get back into the business of winning Premier League points - and there are few who know how to do it better.”
Pulis cut his managerial teeth first as a player-coach for Harry Redknapp at Bournemouth in 1992 and onwards through further appointments with Gillingham, Bristol City and Portsmouth.
But it was at Stoke where his reputation was cemented as he transformed the club from a mid-table Championship outfit to one of the toughest in the Premier League with a feared home record and top-flight stability.
He is due to meet with his new players briefly today before watching the Hammers clash from the stands. He plans to attend his first media conference as Albion’s new Head Coach tomorrow ahead of the FA Cup third round tie at The Hawthorns against Gateshead.