The Athletic fanbase was a bit confused when the club released the official coaching staff that would assist Cuco Ziganda. Legendary defender Carlos Gurpegui was not listed after having spent the previous season as an assistant to Ernesto Valverde. Fans began to wonder if Gurpegui would be moving on to another role or leaving the coaching world behind entirely. While it has been a few weeks since the announcement was made, there is finally clarity on the situation.
According to an exclusive report from El Correo, Gurpegui was offered the role of Ziganda’s third assistant coach but rejected the position in favor of pursing more coaching licenses so that he could manager a youth team.
Last week Gurpegui reached his Grade 2 coaching license, but wants to keep climbing the ranks. This coming winter he spend several weeks in Madrid attending classes to receive his Grade 3 coaching license. From there, he and Athletic will discuss what his future holds as far as a potential coaching role at Lezama. The 36-year-old knew that if he was on Ziganda’s staff this season, he wouldn’t be able to attend his classes in Madrid and that is his biggest priority right now.
Carlos Gurpegui is taking the same road to coaching as fellow legend Joseba Etxeberria. Etxeberria also served under Ernesto Valverde while getting his coaching licenses before going on to manager Lezama’s Juvenil A team and CD Basconia. He has since been loaned to SD Amorebieta in the Segunda B where he will further hone his coaching skills. Gurpegui could likely have the same trajectory if he does indeed take over as the head coach of one of the Lezama youth teams.