CSKA Moscow on Thursday announced a two-year agreement to make Dimitris Itoudis its new head coach. Itoudis arrives from Banvit Bandirma and previously helped lead one storied franchise, Panathinaikos Athens, to five Euroleague titles this century as its first assistant coach. Now he'll have a chance to lead another legendary club to more Euroleague glory as a man in charge. Itoudis, 43, is taking over the reins of the newly crowned VTB League and Russian champions from Ettore Messina, who left CSKA earlier in the week. Last season, Itoudis was head coach of Turkish side Banvit Bandirma, which he led to the Eurocup Last 32 and a first-place finish in the Turkish League regular season before bowing out against Galatasaray Liv Hospital in the playoff semifinals.
Itoudis was the right-hand man for coaching legend Zeljko Obradovic at Panathinaikos Athens for 13 seasons, helping his team to win Euroleague titles in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011. Two of those - in 2007 and 2009 – came in the title games against CSKA. His previous head coaching experience includes PAOK Thessaloniki and Phillipos Thessaloniki. Outside the Euroleague, Itoudis helped Panathinaikos win 11 Greek League titles, including 10 in a row, and seven Greek Cup trophies. Overall, Itoudis won 23 national titles in 13 years as Panathinaikos's assistant coach. "I am very proud to be in Moscow and wear CSKA's logo on my chest," Itoudis said. "The only thing that I can promise is that the team will work hard and try to play as good as possible."