ATHENS – After his favored Olympiakos team lost to arch-rival Panathinaikos in the quarter-finals of the Greek Basketball League tourney, coach Giorgos Bartzokas has stepped down.
Bartzokas, who led Olympiakos to the European championship in 2013 and won Euroleague Coach of the Year, couldn’t win any domestic titles and was surprised by Panathinaikos, said he had to resign because the pressure was too great and fans were turning against him.
Olympiakos lost 77-76 in a game played in an empty arena because of penalties established on the team. He will be temporarily replaced by his assistant, Milan Tomic.
Reports in the Greek media have Serbia and Greece coaches, Alexander Djordjevic and Fotis Katsikaris, as frontrunners for Bartzokas’s post.
Bartzokas began working as a basketball coach at the age of 22, while he was still also playing club basketball. He was the assistant coach of Panagiotis Giannakis for several years in Maroussi.
In 2006, he signed on as the head coach of Olympia Larissa. That same year with Olympia, he managed to reach the playoffs of the Greek Basket League for the first time in the club’s history. The team finished in 7th place, and repeated their playoffs qualification the next year, during the Greek Basket League 2007-08 season.
In 2009, Bartzokas became the head coach of Maroussi. In 2010, he was named the Greek League Coach of the Year. He became the head coach of Panionios in 2010.
Bartzokas became the head coach of the Greek Euroleague club Olympiakos, in June 2012. With Olympiakos, he won the 2012-13 season championship of the Euroleague, becoming the first Greek coach in history to win this title. He was also named the Euroleague Coach of the Year in 2013.