FOLLOWING his unceremonious exit from San Miguel Beer, Leo Austria could be headed to Ateneo - not as head coach of the men’s basketball team but as an official in the school's sports program.
Ricky Palou, the school’s representative to the UAAP board, admitted Ateneo's interest in bringing in the former Petron assistant coach and Adamson head coach as a key official in the Katipunan-based school's athletic department to help out in its sports program.
“Oo,” said Palou, when asked by Spin.ph about Ateneo’s interest in Austria. “Pero hindi as coach, but in the athletics office to help us in our sports program.”
Austria was recently booted out as Petron deputy coach following yet another coaching change for the team that saw Biboy Ravanes taking over the head coaching job from Gee Abanilla and Tood Purves becoming an active consultant.
Just last year, Austria decided not to renew his contract with Adamson after stating that several quarters expressed disappointment with the Falcons’ performance in Season 76 of the UAAP.
But just a day after Spin.ph reported his exit from San Miguel, Austria, who led San Miguel Beer to the Asean Basketball League (ABL) crown in 2013, appears to have found a taker in Ateneo as Palou intends to talk to the ex-Adamson coach about a possible key position in the athletics department.
“We would like to sit down with him because we want someone to run our sports program. Not only basketball, pero lahat. Si Coach Leo naman, may experience ‘yan sa maraming sports,” said Palou.
Austria is actually not new to a possible job offer at Ateneo as he was once being backed by Norman Black to be his successor when he was set to leave the five-time champion Blue Eagles to return to the PBA and handle Talk ‘N Text.
Austria’s son Bacon also played for the Blue Eagles and is now a member of the coaching staff of the school’s junior team.
Palou admitted he had talked with Austria informally about the job at the athletics department even before the recent development at San Miguel.
“Formally, hindi pa (kami nag-uusap). We are supposed to meet, maybe next week hopefully, para we can finalize everything,” said Palou.
The Ateneo official however, insisted Austria will not be included in the Blue Eagles coaching staff currently headed by Bo Perasol, or even offered to be part of it.
When asked about the possibility that Austria will be brought in as a member of the Ateneo coaching staff, Palou said: “No, I don’t think so.”
“We really want him in our sports program,” Palou added.