Former Derby County fans’ favourite Jake Buxton has returned to the club as a coach in the Academy.

Buxton has been appointed as a Professional Development Phase Coach and will assist Pat Lyons in overseeing the running of Derby’s Under-23 side.

The 36-year-old temporarily fulfilled the role towards the end of the 2020/21 season as a replacement for Gary Bowyer, who has since been appointed as Salford City’s permanent manager, but has now returned on a permanent basis.

Buxton is already a well-known figure in the Academy as he worked with Derby’s youngsters while completing his coaching badges, prior to being appointed as Burton’s manager in May 2020.

Academy Director Darren Wassall commented: “We’re really pleased to welcome Jake Buxton back to Derby County as a permanent member of our Academy staff.

“Jake has a wealth of experience that he can pass on to our younger players and he has formed a strong working relationship with Pat Lyons and the rest of the staff within the Academy.

“I know Jake well from his time as a player here, as well as his previous work within the Academy, and I believe he will be a real asset for us moving forward.”

As a player, Buxton enjoyed seven years with Derby as a player after arriving from Burton Albion in the summer of 2009.

He made 159 appearances for the Rams and scored on 13 occasions, including a memorable late winner at home to local rivals Nottingham Forest in March 2012.

The popular central defender was also a key part of the Derby side that reached the 2014 Play-Off Final.

Buxton, who began his career at Mansfield Town, recorded just over 500 professional appearances in his career, scoring on 20 occasions.