Turkish veteran basketball coach Ergin Ataman has established himself among the European elite after leading his Anadolu Efes side to back-to-back Turkish Airlines EuroLeague titles.
The 56-year-old is one of the continent’s most decorated head coaches, with a total of 23 titles, including five European crowns.
In his 26-year coaching career, Ataman has helmed some of Turkey’s top teams, including Efes, Beşiktaş and Galatasaray.
Besides the two EuroLeague trophies, he has won three Turkish league titles, four Presidential Cups and three Turkish Cups with Efes.
Prior to that, he won a league title, a FIBA EuroChallenge crown and a Turkish Cup with Beşiktaş.
At the helm of Galatasaray, Ataman won the Turkish league and a ULEB European Cup, while claiming two Turkish Cups and a Presidential Cup each with Ülkerspor and Türk Telekom.
Outside Turkey, Ataman has led Italy’s Montepaschi Siena to the FIBA Saporta Cup title.
The veteran head coach has a knack for winning European finals, in particular.
Out of six continental finals in his coaching career, Ataman has so far won five.
He won the FIBA Saporta Cup in 2002 with Italy’s Montepaschi Siena, the FIBA EuroChallenge Cup with Beşiktaş in 2012, the ULEB European Cup with Galatasaray in 2016, and finally the EuroLeague title with Anadolu Efes in 2021 and 2022.
His only European final defeat was in 2019 when Efes lost to Russian heavyweight CSKA Moscow.
Ergin Ataman is one of Europe’s top eight coaches to have won back-to-back continental titles since 1958.
The list of elite coaches includes the likes of Aleksander Gomelskiy (1958, 1959, 1960), Pedro Ferrandiz (1967, 1968), Aleksandar Nikolic (1972, 1973), Sandro Gamba (1975, 1976), Bozidar Maljkovic (1989, 1990) , Zeljko Obradovic (1994, 1995) and Pini Gershon (2004, 2005). had success in winning consecutive trophies in the organization.
Following his success with Efes, Ataman was recently appointed as the head coach of the Turkish men’s national team for a second time.
He has already set his sights on winning the European basketball title with the national team.
Following his appointment in April, Ataman was swift to remind the national team players of his target.
“Of course, there will be important countries like Serbia or Spain in the championship but our only goal in Europe will be to claim the title. I will invite every player to the team with this goal in mind,” Ataman said.