The man who is responsible for building Montepaschi Siena into an Italian League juggernaut and a Euroleague contender, Montepaschi Siena President Ferdinando Minucci, is being rewarded as Euroleague Basketball's Club Executive of the Year for the 2007-08 season. Minucci was voted the award winner after Montepaschi reached the Euroleague Basketball Final Four in Madrid in its return to the competition. Montepaschi would finish third in Madrid and then win its second straight Italian League title, just the latest in a string of successes – all with Minucci in charge of the club. In recognition of his efforts, Minucci was voted the Club Executive of the Year by his peers, the 24 general managers of Euroleague clubs at the end of the 2007-08 season.
Minucci, 55, has been involved with Mens Sana Basket Siena since 1990 after a successful career in marketing and media. A native of Siena, Minucci studied political science and later worked in a bank before building a successful media career. He worked for Radio Siena and Tele Video Siena and later created the daily newspaper Corriere di Siena. In 1990, he teamed up with Mens Sana Basket Siena as the director of marketing and advertising. Two years later Minucci became General Director, a position he would hold till 1999, when he was named General Director and Vice President. In that position, Minucci formed a union with Banca Monte Paschi, the oldest bank in Italy, which became the club’s chief sponsor. And with the support of a large sponsor behind the club, Montepaschi Siena flourished, winning the 2002 Saporta Cup, Italian League titles in 2004, 2007 and 2008, Italian Super Cups in 2004 and 2007 as well as three Euroleague Basketball Final Fours. A key to the club’s rise to greatness has been developing a successful youth academy. Minucci has overseen that project too as Montepaschi’s under-20, U-18, U-16 and U-15 teams have won a combined nine junior titles. In 2007, Minucci named the architect of the youth program, Simone Pianigiani, as the senior team’s head coach, an inspired move that has paid big dividends. Minucci’s efforts have already been recognized in Italy, where he has been named the 2007 and 2008 Italian League Executive of the Year.
Montepaschi Siena returned to the Euroleague last season after a year in the ULEB Cup and proved that it belonged there from the very start. The club dominated its home floor, going 10-1 with its only loss coming against eventual champion CSKA Moscow. After finishing as runner-up to CSKA in its regular season group, Montepaschi won its Top 16 group and then became the only team to sweep its Quarterfinal Playoffs opponent en route to the club’s third Euroleague Basketball Final Four appearance since 2003. Back home, Montepaschi started the season 19-0 and went 10-1 in the playoffs to defend its championship with ease. During the season, Minucci could be counted on as always when needed, making the necessary personal changes when injuries hit. After another year laced with Minucci’s hard work, shrewd decisions and determination, the recently named Montepaschi Siena President is getting his due.