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Ateneo taps Baldwin as Blue Eagle head coach



After a string of high-profile coaching hirings, specifically by the De La Salle University Green Archers and the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, the Ateneo de Manila University has made the highest-profile signing of them all.

Ateneo is set to tap Men’s National Basketball team Head Coach, Tab Baldwin, as the school’s 37th men’s basketball team head coach.

According to our source, American-Kiwi Head Coach Tab Baldwin had already agreed to coach the Blue Eagles as early as Wednesday, December 2. In addition, Baldwin will only have a one-year deal with the Katipunan-based squad, as “2017 will be an important year for the Gilas program,” the source said.

Regarding the law that no foreigner can coach a local team without a proper work permit, the same source has guaranteed that Baldwin will not encounter that problem, as he has already been issued a permit by the Department of Labor and Employment with approval by the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines.

The source also added that the entire Ateneo coaching staff, except for Bo Perasol, will return for next season.

Baldwin received his first break as a head coach back in the 80’s with the Auburn Montgomery Warhawks in the US NCAA’s Division II before moving to the University of Central Florida Knights, a Division I school. He then made the rounds as he coached professional basketball clubs in New Zealand, Turkey, and Malaysia. Moreover, various national basketball teams have tapped the services of Baldwin.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ateneo taps Baldwin as Blue Eagle head coach    The American-Kiwi then became the mentor of the Gilas Program early 2015. Baldwin steered the Gilas Cadets team to a Gold Medal in the Southeast Asian Games while Gilas Pilipinas bagged silver in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.

In the 78th season of the UAAP, the Blue Eagles finished third in the Men’s Basketball tournament after being eliminated by eventual champions Far Eastern University Tamaraws. With four seniors graduating, including Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal, next season’s Blue Eagles will be bannered by San Sebastian-transferee CJ Perez, while the only senior left on the team is big man G-Boy Babilonia.

Based on a list compiled by Rick Olivares, Baldwin will be the eighth foreigner to coach the Blue Eagles, and the third foreigner that is not a priest to do so. Moreover, the Gilas mentor will be the school’s second active foreign head coach, together with women’s volleyball team Head Coach, Tai Bundit.

The group of the school’s chief booster Manny V. Pangilinan and the Ateneo de Manila University will officially make an announcement about Baldwin and his hiring as the Blue Eagles head coach on Monday. As per tradition, the university’s president, Fr. Jett Villarin, will meet with Baldwin to see if he is fit to uphold the “Atenean values.”