DERRICK Pumaren officially took over as head coach of the University of the East Red Warriors on Thursday and has started his search for members of his coaching staff.
Pumaren’s younger brother Dindo, head tactician of the Warriors from 2003 to 2008, will be his top lieutenant but the two are now looking for more assistant coaches to join the rejigged staff.
Spin.ph earlier reported that Derrick Pumaren was the most logical choice for UE, given that he is an alumnus and can work full-time - conditions the school laid out after announcing the firing of Boycie Zamar.
However, the search became complicated when some backers of the team from Lucio Tan's family pushed for other options who may not necessarily work fulltime for the position, sources said.
Consequently, the scheduled announcement of the new coach was delayed by a week.
Former Letran coach Louie Alas was also considered for the post but he is also a concurrent assistant coach of Alaska in the PBA. He was also interviewed for the job by Mike Tan, son of the school owner.
Alas, who won NCAA titles for Letran, also expressed interest in the job.
But in the end, the school went with Derrick Pumaren, a veteran coach who has won two championships in the PBA with Swift and who UE officials described as a "true Red Warrior."
A former member of the UE Pages champion team, Pumaren, son of UE great Pilo and older brother of Air21 coach Franz, also played two years with the Red Warriors.
He is known in basketball circles as 'Manong' Derrick, since he was the eldest among the Pumaren brothers.
However, Derrick has not held a coaching position since his last PBA post with Talk 'N Text in 2008, settling mostly for consultancy jobs.