Gaizka Garitano Named Segunda B Group II Coach Of The Year For 2017/2018
When Kuko Ziganda was promoted to first team manager at Athletic last season it left the club with a major hole at Bilbao Athletic. Ibaigane quickly turned their sights to former Eibar coach Gaizka Garitano who accepted the offer and took over the reserves. Garitano had plenty of experience in the lower divisions but still no one really knew what to expect. At the end of the year it was clear that the hire was the perfect move.
Garitano led Bilbao Athletic to one of the best seasons in history, finishing 4th in the table with a +40 goal differential. Other than losing their first game of the season at home, the Katxorros would not be beaten at Lezama the rest of the year and finished the campaign with 12 straight victories in front of their own fans. By midseason Bilbao Athletic were clearly one of the strongest teams in the league and qualified for the promotional playoffs where they were eventually eliminated by Villarreal B.
The hard work and success of Gaizka Garitano hasn’t gone unnoticed. Every year the Spanish Federation’s Coaches Committee gives out awards called the “Ramón Cobo” to the most outstanding manager in each league and have named Garitano as the best coach in the Segunda B Group II. The 43-year-old will receive his award on 2 October after a special lunch that will be held at Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas.
Garitano has already proven to be a fantastic coach for Bilbao Athletic. He’s made it clear that his goal is to prepare young footballers to take the step up to the first team, but he still wants the reserve side to be competitive and win games. This season the Katxorros are off to another fantastic start and currently sit at the top of the league table having earned 10 points from the opening 4 games.