New Zealand tactician Lam left Connacht in the summer of 2017 to take up the head coaching role with Bristol and he guided the club to the RFU Championship title, winning 21 of their 22 matches.
Preparations are now underway for the Bears' opening match of the Gallagher Premiership season against Bath on August 31 and fly-half Ian Madigan, who was his team's top scorer last season, believes the work done by the head coach last year will help them do well in the top flight.
Talking as a guest on the Irish Independent's Left Wing podcast, he said: "The great thing about us being in the Championship last season was that Pat [Lam] was able to come in and build everything nice and slowly.
"If we were in the Premiership last year with the threat of relegation, there are 11 other really good teams in the league, you have got to be ready from round one and there's no getting off to a slow start and try and make-up ground because once that happens to you, every team is gonna target you and you're the team they are going to try and relegate effectively.
"So Pat came in and was able to build our defence systems, our attack structure and everything down to how our restarts set-up, our restart receives, he was able to build this foundation really well, the numbers 1 to 50 in the squad and obviously 1 to 15 on the pitch knew exactly where they had to be in every situation."