Bulls extend Ludeke's stay
Frans Ludeke (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - The Blue Bulls Company confirmed on Wednesday the extension of Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke’s tenure at Loftus Versfeld.
The 45-year old coach extended his contract with the BBC for another three years to 2016 and will continue in his role as coach of the Bulls Super Rugby franchise.
Ludeke took over as coach at the Bulls in 2008 and took the team to Super Rugby titles in 2009 and 2010 and a playoff spot in 2012. He is one of only two South African coaches to have the Super Rugby title and the only one to achieve this twice.
Ludeke (87 Bulls, 24 Cats) is also the third most experienced Super Rugby coach ever and with this extension, should move past Robbie Deans (Crusaders, 120) and Ewen McKenzie (Reds & Waratahs, 127) while still at Loftus Versfeld.
As Blue Bulls Currie Cup coach, Ludeke also took his team to the top in 2009, giving the Pretoria side a unique double that year.
Ludeke said it was an easy decision to stay with the Bulls.
“It was certainly very humbling when asked to stay on in this capacity. I would like to believe that we managed to sustain the core values of rugby at Loftus Versfeld, where dedication and hard work, professionalism, passion and performance are part of the normal day of life.
“One can easily associate with the traditions of this proud union and team. The challenge will be to keep on honouring the drive to excellence and to sustain the winning culture and habit. I am grateful for the dedication and hard work by the support and management staff as well, as they make the job so much easier.”
No less than 16 players has become a Springbok under Ludeke’s reign and the coach is keen to have this tally extended.
“Coaching is certainly not only about winning trophies, but also about developing players and people and when their abilities are rewarded at national level; it is a feather in the cap to all concerned.”
Commenting on the news, CEO of the BBC, Barend van Graan, said: “This is fantastic news for us as a union wanting to stay at the top. To achieve that, you need to have a great coach, one of the best in the business and I am happy that we managed to secure that. Frans have a track record with us, but not only that, he has extended the principles of performance and delivery and we have to admire that.”
Ludeke also won the Vodacom Cup with the Golden Lions.