David Gray has been named the new head coach of Hibernian, bringing an end to the search for Nick Montgomery's successor.

The former Easter Road captain has signed a three-year deal after emerging as the club's preferred candidate following a 'robust recruitment process'. His backroom staff will be confirmed 'in due course'. 

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Gray, who played 177 times for Hibs and famously scored the goal to win the Scottish Cup in the 2016 final, has served as first-team coach to Jack Ross, Shaun Maloney, Lee Johnson, and Montgomery.

He said: "It is a real privilege for me to become the head coach of this great football club.

“Everyone knows how much Hibs means to me. It is a massive club with a phenomenal fanbase, that I know very well, so to be given this opportunity is a true honour.

"From being here as a player and a coach for over ten years, I know what a successful Hibs team looks like and I am determined to succeed and take our club forward."

The 36-year-old stepped up as interim head coach for a fourth spell in the wake of the club's decision to relieve Montgomery of his duties after just 37 games at the helm. He led Hibs to a 3-0 home victory over Motherwell before a 1-1 draw at Livingston on the final day of the season.

Earlier in the campaign he took temporary charge following Lee Johnson's departure and masterminded a 2-0 victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie just days after ensuring Hibs restored a modicum of pride in a 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa in Birmingham, after the English Premier League side had won 5-0 in Edinburgh in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off encounter. 

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Speaking about the decision to appoint Gray, sporting director Malky Mackay said: "Following a robust recruitment process, David emerged as our preferred candidate and we are delighted to have him on board.

"Having watched his progression closely over a number of years, David’s ready to step up and become Hibs' head coach. David understands the pressures and demands that come with a club like Hibs, knows Scottish football inside out, is an excellent coach and a strong man-manager.

“He already has good relationships with the current playing squad and members of staff both at HTC and Easter Road, which provides an element of stability, and we know he’s the right man for the job.

“Everyone is looking forward to continuing to work closely with David for the upcoming season and beyond.”

In his first three caretaker stints, Gray tiptoed around the prospect of being appointed on a permanent basis, citing the respect he had for the management team just departed, and the difficulty of the situation. But last month he made his strongest pitch yet for the permanent position, saying: “I think I will always back myself, given the opportunity. I’ve been in this position four times and it’s been uncomfortable for a number of reasons, but in terms of backing my ability to do the job, 100 per cent: I believe I can do it. I’ve demonstrated that now on a few occasions."

Gray is the 14th person in the history of Hibs to play for and manage the club. The other 13 in order of service are Davy Gordon, Bobby Templeton, Hugh Shaw, WIllie MacFarlane, Eddie Turnbull, Willie Ormond, Bertie Auld, Pat Stanton, John Blackley, Franck Sauzée, John Collins, Mixu Paatelainen, and John Hughes.