LOUIE Alas has cropped up on Ateneo’s ‘wish list’ for its vacant coaching job as the school veered closer and closer to appointing another non-alumnus to one of the most high-profile positions in college basketball.
A source who asked not to be named confirmed the school has added not only Alas but also Adamson coach Leo Austria to the candidates list, and has even reached out to the former Letran coach to ask if he is willing to be recommended to the position.
Another source close to Alas has confirmed the approach to Spin.ph.
Alas recently announced his resignation as Letran coach after the Knights bowed to the San Beda Red Lions in the last NCAA Finals. He added that he is still open to help the school in a consultant role.
However, reports said Letran officials still plan to talk Alas out of resigning.
Alas and Austria join Alex Compton and Ateneo assistant coaches Sandy Arespacochaga and Jamike Jarin on the list of candidates to replace Norman Black, who moved to Talk ‘N Text in the PBA after leading the Blue Eagles to their fifth straight championship.
Compton, like Alas, an assistant coach at Alaska, has already been interviewed for the job.
Of late, Ateneo officials have made it clear that the job is Arespacochaga's for the taking. However, Black's longtime assistant has been cool to the overtures, ever since Ateneo's search committee chose Bo Perasol over him in the months after Black announced his plan to quit the job.
Perasol has since been released from a contract he signed with Ateneo after a falling-out between the school and top patron Manny Pangilinan.
If anyone among Alas, Austria and Compton is picked, he will become the fourth non-alumni to take on the Eagles' job in recent years after Joe Lipa, Joel Banal, and Black. Arespacochaga was the lone exception, having coached the team for one year before Black took over.
Over the years, several former stars have failed to get the Ateneo job, with former King Eagle Jun Reyes losing out to Banal and Petron coach Olsen Racela reportedly overlooked in favor of Perasol.
On Saturday, national coach Chot Reyes hinted on his Twitter account that another non-alumnus is in line to be named to the job.
“Sa Lakers unknown pa (ang next coach) pero sa Eagles alam na :) hindi alumnus #theAteneoWay,” Reyes wrote on his Twitter account @coachot.
Ateneo athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Paolo Trillo, however, have insisted that no decision has been made, but added that they expect to discuss the coaching position soon with Ateneo president Fr. Jett Villarin. For the full story on that, click here.