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Dimitris Itoudis Opens up on Coaching Career
Dimitris Itoudis opened up his coaching career since he was a teenager. His first and only coaching job of his career is with the CSKA Moscow in the EuroLeague and the VTB United League.
Itoudis has been one of the most respected coaches in the game. He has already led the team to two EuroLeague titles, including the team’s impressive championship run last season.
In the last five years, Itoudis has led his team to the EuroLeague’s Final Four. He has also joined Zeljko Obradovic as the only coaches to achieve the feat in the Final Four era.
Despite all the achievements and personal accolades that he has, the 49-year-old coach still knows how to be humble as he is now. While there are a lot of men that Itoudis has faced in his coaching career, nothing beats the memory of walking in the sidelines for the first time in the EuroLeague.
‘I've been around a lot of years, but a debut is a debut even though the experience was there’, said the Greek native.
Itoudis led CSKA to an 84-68 win over ALBA Berlin back in October 2014 on the road. It was one of those big games where he pushed the team to an impressive win. No one expected him to even win his first game as a coach.
‘It was special’, Itoudis said. ‘I've been around a lot of years, but a debut is a debut even though the experience was there’.
Before the team added him in the mix, he was already part of the EuroLeague for many years. He had a fair share of being an assistant coach with the Panionios Athens back in the mid-1990s when the team played in the Europe’s top competition before moving to Panathinaikos Athens, where he would spend his next 13 years.
He was part of Obradovic’s five title runs. He learned a lot from his mentor, and he went on to lead his own team afterwards.
He led PAOK Thessaloniki and Banvit Bandirma in multiple international competitions. That gave him a lot of experience despite being a young coach. Despite all that success, he believed that leading a team was still the best memory for him.
‘I've been in the EuroLeague for a long time’, Itoudis said. ‘Still, when there is a debut of your career as a head coach, you remember. Like when we remember our first teacher or our first coach. I remember my first game’.
‘It was a good start’, Itoudis added. ‘As the streak went on, you had to find out if you lose some games, how are you going to overcome it. If you don't feel ready, you are not going to do that job’.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores