Academy coach Tony Carss joined elite company as he was inducted into the FA Level 5 Alumni after completing his UEFA Pro Licence qualification.
The graduation ceremony took place at St George's Park, where the esteemed group were presented with their certificates by Rovers boss Tony Mowbray and former first team coach Darren Moore.
It was a proud moment for Rovers' Head of Academy Coaching, who re-joined the football club last summer - some 23 years after signing his first professional contract as a player at Rovers ahead of the historic 1994-95 Premiership title-winning campaign.
The midfielder's injury-interrupted career spanned eight clubs, before he was forced to retire at the age of 30 in 2006 due a persistent knee problem.
After moving into coaching, Carss developed a diverse set of skills and enjoyed spells at Preston North End and Huddersfield Town, where he started his Pro Licence course, before making his Rovers return in August 2017.
Having reached the pinnacle of his coaching career, Carss is now eager to pass on his experience and expertise to the current crop of young players at the club looking to forge their way towards first team football.
“I’m delighted to have completed and passed my UEFA Pro Licence this week - a journey that began in October 2016," said the 42-year-old, who graduated alongside fellow former Rovers James Beattie and Steven Reid.
“Having successfully got through the assessment process, 28 of us began the course in January 2017.
"The group was made up of elite candidates from all over the world and included Champions League winners Nemanja Vidic and Nicky Butt.
“The course involved a study visit to the Under-21 European Championships in Krakow last June, which was a fantastic experience.
“My coaching journey began 15 years ago and it’s taken a lot of hard work and determination to learn to get to this point.
"The UEFA Pro Licence is the highest award in world football and I’m delighted to now become one of the alumni.
“The graduation was a great evening and was made even more special for me having the gaffer there to present the awards and speak as a guest on stage.
“It was also nice to have Alan Irvine on my table, as Alan was one of my coaches when I first arrived at the club in 1994 as a first year professional and he helped me a lot. He reminded both myself and James Beattie how old we were making him feel!
“I’m now looking forward to taking the learning from the course into my role at the club to help the coaches and players in their own development.
"We all have to work hard everyday to learn, improve and then deliver, and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.”