Barcelona hands reins to Jasikevicius

Jul 02, 2020 by Euroleague.net Print
Barcelona hands reins to Jasikevicius

FC Barcelona started a new era with a bang by signing Sarunas Jasikevicius to take over as the team's head coach for the next three seasons. Jasikevicius, 44, replaces one of his mentors and his former coach Svetislav Pesic, who guided Barcelona to Spanish Copa del Rey titles in 2018 and 2019 in his second stint with the club. Before that, Pesic and Jasikevicius, as coach and player, led Barcelona to its first EuroLeague title in 2003. Barcelona added the Spanish League and the Spanish Copa del Rey for its only triple crown to date. Now Jasikevicius, a four-time EuroLeague champion as a player, takes over the two-time EuroLeague champs, who have not been to the Final Four since 2014.

Jasikevicius arrives from his hometown club Zalgiris Kaunas, where he took over as a head coach in January 2016 and led an underdog team to a Final Four appearance in 2018 and a EuroLeague Playoff appearance in 2019. He has 66 wins in 140 EuroLeague games coached and a 50-48 record over the last three seasons.

Zalgiris was the first head coaching job for Jasikevicius, who joined the club's bench right after retiring as a player. Jasikevicius was first hired as an assistant coach at the start of the 2014-15 season, before getting promoted to head coach. As a player, Jasikevicius earned Euroleague Basketball Legend status. He is the only player in competition history to win the EuroLeague with three different teams (Barcelona 2003, Maccabi Tel Aviv 2004, 2005, Panathinaikos Athens 2009) and the last to lift the trophy in three consecutive seasons.