|29 November 2013|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Former Russian international Evgeny Pashutin is looking forward to his new job as national team coach: "Becoming the head coach of Russia is a huge honour"|
The Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) confirmed on Friday the appointment of up-and-coming tactician Evgeny Pashutin as the new head coach of the senior men's national team.
Pashutin, who is currently the boss of Euroleague and VTB United League club Lokomotiv Kuban, takes over in the role from Vasiliy Karasev, who steered Russia into EuroBasket 2013 following the sudden divorce between the RBF and coach Fotis Katsikaris on the eve of the start of preparations for the big tournament.
Karasev, who is at the helm of EuroChallenge club Triumph Lyubertsy, will retain his post as head coach of Russia's second national team, which he led to the top of the podium in the University Games last summer.
"Becoming the head coach of Russia is a huge honour," Pashutin said at a press conference in Moscow on Friday.
"This job is not entirely new to me, after all I have coached the youth national teams and was an assistant coach on the senior team.
"[This post] of course means increased responsibility compared to those roles, but that does not bother me, on the contrary it provides a huge incentive to work."
The 44-year-old Pashutin had excelled at the role of the cool-headed reserve point guard during his career as a player.
As a member of the Russian national team, he won silver in the 1994 World Championship and bronze at EuroBasket 1997, as well as the domestic league title towards the end of his career, with CSKA Moscow.
It was precisely the powerhouse of the capital where he begun his coaching career, first on the youth teams and then as an assistant to Ettore Messina on the senior team.
He left CSKA in 2008 to become the head coach of Spartak Saint Petersburg, and returned a year later, after Messina's departure to Real Madrid.
Pashutin led the Russian giants to the VTB and Russian PBL titles and into the Euroleague Final Four but his tenure in Moscow only lasted one season.
The following year he was handed the reins of UNICS Kazan and steered the club to their first Eurocup title.
He repeated the exact same feat in his first year at Kuban, adding a second Eurocup trophy to his collection last April.
The beginning of the collaboration between RBF and Pashutin dates back to 2004, when he took charge of the U20 national team.
In 2005, the new head coach of the senior national team took an U20 side that included the likes of Vitaliy Fridzon, Anton Ponkrashov and Dmitry Sokolov to the top of the podium in the European Championship.
Pashutin then joined the staff of David Blatt on the senior Russian team and was an assistant to the Israeli-American at EuroBasket 2007, when Russia conquered gold in Spain.
Russia failed to advance to the Second Round at EuroBasket 2013 but are one of 15 nations that have applied for a wild card to next summer's FIBA Basketball World Cup.