Steve McNamara said he had achieved a lifelong ambition after being named as the new head coach of Super League champions Bradford.
The Bulls promoted 34-year-old assistant boss McNamara after Brian Noble defected to Wigan on Thursday.
McNamara said: "I can't tell you how excited I am. Brian has been a fantastic mentor but it is time to take the step and take the plunge.
"Coaching was what I was meant to do - I'm honoured to do it with Bradford."
McNamara, who turned down an approach from Hull a fortnight ago, becomes the youngest head coach in Super League.
And despite his relative inexperience, he has no doubts he is ready to step up.
"When you finish your playing career people call you a veteran but now I am the youngest coach and it has put a spring back in my step," said McNamara.
"It has not concerned me whatsoever. I am very confident in my ability to coach this side."
McNamara faces a tough task following Noble, who guided the Bulls to five straight Super League Grand Finals, winning three of them.
His first test will be to steer the side through a tricky trip to Warrington, who won at Odsal a fortnight ago, on Sunday.
However, McNamara has been impressed by the Bulls' performances in beating Leeds and Huddersfield over Easter.
"It has been an eventful week and the players deserve a massive amount of credit for the way they have handled it," said McNamara.
"They have shown by their performances on the pitch and in training that their attitude has been very good."