BENDIGO Braves legend David Flint is the new coach of arch-rival the Ballarat Miners.
Flint spent more than 15 years with the Braves, where he helped develop arguably the most fierce rivalry in the SEABL.
Last night, Flint, who coached the Braves to their first SEABL title in 1988, donned a Miners polo top for the first time.
“It was a hard decision, but it just feels right for me to get back into coaching at SEABL level,’’ Flint said last night after he put his new team through his first training session.
“I love the Bendigo Braves... the club was such a big part of my life for a long time.
“I’ll always have a place in my heart for the Braves and I want the club to be successful.
“But right now I have a new challenge and I’m very comfortable with my decision.”
From the late 1980s until the end of the 2002 season, Flint was the face of the Bendigo Braves.
He was named the Braves’ greatest player by the Bendigo Advertiser at the club’s 25-year anniversary in 2010.
Flint holds club records in games played (318), rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots.
Overall, he coached the Braves 343 times with an imposing winning percentage of 63 per cent.
In the past decade Flint has coached Braves junior squads and was the head coach of Victoria Country under-18 squads.
He will continue to work with the Bendigo YMCA and will commute to Ballarat.
“I love my role with the YMCA and if I didn’t think I could do both jobs justice, I wouldn’t be coaching,’’ he said.
Flint signed a two-year deal with Ballarat where he will have the services of former Miners star Eric Hayes as his assistant.
The Braves and Miners clash on April 3 in Ballarat and an inaugural Anzac Day game in Bendigo on April 25.
Braves coach Ben Harvey welcomed Flint’s signing with the Miners.
“I wish Dave all the best with Ballarat,’’ Harvey, who played under Flint in 2001 and 2002, said.
“It’s great to see him coaching in the SEABL again.”