NASH Racela of Far Eastern University and Aldin Ayo, formerly of Letran, have been named coaches of the year by the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps.
The two coaches will be feted during the Collegiate Basketball Awards on Jan. 26 at the Saisaki-Kamayan in Greenhills.
Racela and Ayo steered their teams to victories in their mother leagues, with FEU and Letran both ending decade-long title droughts.
Racela was the architect of Far Eastern University’s UAAP championship victory when the Tamaraws beat the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in three games.
Ayo, in his rookie season, guided underdog Letran past powerhouse San Beda, ending the Red Lions’ five-year NCAA reign.
Racela and Ayo are first time recipients of awards from sports scribes from national dailies and online portals covering the collegiate basketball beat.
Ayo, who has left Letran and hired by La Salle, is the fourth rookie mentor to win the award after Ato Agustin in 2009 and Juno Sauler and Boyet Fernandez in 2013.
Other coaches who have won the award in the annual event that honors the top achievers of the UAAP and NCAA are Norman Black, Frankie Lim, Eric Altamirano and Louie Alas.
The UAAP-NCAA Press Corps is also set to name its Smart Player of the Year and Collegiate Mythical Five.