West Indies hope Gibson can bring about "gradual improvement"
Ottis Gibson has been appointed as the new head coach of West Indies after resigning from his post as England bowling coach.
The England and Wales Cricket board says it has granted Gibson's request to be released from his contract.
The 40-year-old represented West Indies at Test level but had been part of England's coaching team since 2007.
He will take charge of the West Indies for the home series against Zimbabwe, which begins at the end of the month.
West Indies Cricket Board chief executive Ernest Hilaire confirmed the move to a Caribbean radio station.
"He will be the head coach of the WICB, not just head coach of the senior team," Hilaire told CBC.
"He will have responsibility for coaching right across all of our representative cricket teams. This will give him an opportunity to stamp a particular style of coaching, a West Indies way, across all the teams.
"This is really important because by the time our players reach the senior team, they should be the finished article, and they really ought to be focusing mainly on their strategy, tactics, how they win games, and being able to execute."
Former fast bowler Gibson, who was born in Barbados, played two Tests and 15 one-day internationals for West Indies.
He ended his playing career with county side Durham in 2007 and was immediately appointed as a bowling consultant by England, which led to a full-time staff job with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Gibson had a crucial role last summer when England beat Australia to regain the Ashes, with James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff among those to pay tribute to his influence.
Last month, Radio Jamaica carried a report that he was set to succeed John Dyson, who was sacked as West Indies coach last August.
The following day the ECB denied that any deal had been agreed, but last weekend confirmed that Gibson had been given permission to hold talks with the WICB.
Gibson handed in his resignation on Monday and England coach Andy Flower said: "Ottis has been a valuable member of my management team and we will all be sorry to see him leave.
"However, we recognise that being offered the chance to be head coach of your country was an offer that would be hard for Ottis to resist. We wish him well in the future.'
Gibson told BBC 5 live: "Judging by what we did in the summer, winning the Ashes back, I think England are on the verge of doing something really special.
"It would have been nice to be a part of that but West Indies is in the blood and once they came calling and I couldn't say no."
Gibson now faces the task of trying to restore West Indies to their former glory after a troubled few years.
"The ability's still there, the talent's still there," he said. "There's been a lot of off-the-field stuff that has created unnecessary problems for the team.
"If we can get ourselves focused and have a period of stability, the team have showed, like in Australia just now, that we can put some good results together.
"There's some obvious talent there and that just needs to be found and nurtured. That's going to be the key role for me over the next couple of years."
Gibson will be assisted in his new job by David Williams, who is in charge of the West Indies team for their current tour to Australia.
We are not asking Ottis to turn around the West Indies fortunes and make them a winning team overnight
WICB chief Ernest Hilaire
And together, they will have the responsibility of trying to improve the team's performance.
West Indies are eighth in both the Test and one-day rankings and Hilaire acknowledged that Gibson had been handed a "long-term project".
He added: "We are not asking Ottis to turn around the West Indies fortunes and make them a winning team overnight. There has to be a gradual chain of development.
"He is a new era coach, and someone who has been exposed to all of the technologies and new approaches to coaching.
"We are hoping that he will bring to this task an understanding of West Indies cricket. He will have all requisite knowledge and skills."
England, meanwhile, must find a replacement for Gibson and England and Wales Cricket Board's managing director Hugh Morris said: "Now Ottis has confirmed his departure, Andy Flower and I will begin the process of identifying the right individual who can join the England set-up and build on the foundation laid by Ottis.'
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