German powerhouse ALBA Berlin has given the reins to one of the most successful coaches in European basketball history by bringing Aito Garcia Reneses to the German capital on a two-year deal, the club announced on Wednesday. Garcia Reneses, 70, is not only a winner of multiple European competitions, including the ULEB Cup , but also a former EuroCup Coach of the Year. ALBA will be the first team he will coach outside his native Spain. His last coaching job was with Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas, which he took to the 7DAYS EuroCup finals in the first of two years there, and was voted as the 2014-15 EuroCup Coach of the Year for that effort. His team was stopped by Khimki Moscow Region in the EuroCup final series that year, leaving Garcia Reneses just a step short from winning his sixth title in European competitions. A man with more than 40 years of coaching experience, Garcia Reneses won this competition when he guided Joventut Badalona to the 2008 ULEB Cup crown. He also lifted the Korac Cup in 1987 and 1999 with FC Barcelona and led Barcelona to the Saporta Cup title in 1986. Garcia Reneses won the 2007 FIBA EuroCup with Joventut and coached the Spanish national team to a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games.
"We want to develop good players and at the same time be highly competitive. Aito is just the right person for that," said ALBA general manager Marco Baldi. “He will be able to give our program on many levels important impulses for quality improvement."
Aito made his coaching debut in 1974 with Circulo Catolico of Badalona, later known as Cotonificio Badalona. He coached Joventut from 1983 to 1985 and finished as the Spanish League runner-up in in his last season there. Then began a 17-year stay at FC Barcelona during which the club joined Europe's elite echelon. As head coach during three different stints, Aito led Barcelona to nine Spanish League titles, took the club to six EuroLeague Final Fours and EuroLeague finals in 1989, 1990, 1996 and 1997. Aito was chosen as the Spanish League coach of the year in three different decades - in 1976, 1990 and 2006. Garcia Reneses also coached Unicaja Malaga and Cajasol Seville in recent years and is best known for his work with promising young talents. Among the stars whose careers blossomed under Garcia Reneses are Juan Carlos Navarro, Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez and Kristaps Porzingis.
“I look forward to the task of developing young German players”, Coach Reneses said. “ALBA is an ambitious program with a lot of tradition, Berlin is an exciting city. I hope I can help make the club even better."