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Not Nash though, but older brother Olsen.
Olsen Racela’s dream of coaching a collegiate team became a reality after he was named to handle the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the next UAAP season, succeeding his younger brother Nash who is now plying his trade for TNT KaTropa in the PBA.
The hiring was announced late Tuesday by FEU through its official website, about three weeks after the school quietly negotiated to have the services of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel assistant coach.
Racela said the decision to accept the FEU position was a no-brainer, since he had always expressed his desire to coach the collegiate ranks since he made his debut as head tactician of the national youth team in 2011.
“Mabilis ang pangyayari,” Racela told the Bulletin yesterday. “I was asked after the UAAP season if I was interested, and I said yes. Totally unexpected on my part, but also a wonderful blessing because I always wanted to coach a college team.”
FEU athletic director Mark Molina said the hiring of the former San Miguel Beermen star was influenced with the desire of maintaining continuity of the cage program built during Nash’s four-year reign.
The Tamaraws reached the Final Four in all of Nash’s four UAAP seasons from 2013-2016, highlighted by their title victory in 2015 behind the trio of Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy.
Molina stressed that while Nash was not part of the selection process, Olsen’s similar approach of mentoring young players played a big role in the decision.
Olsen coached the Energen Pilipinas team to a fourth place finish in the 2011 FIBA Asia U-16 Championship in Nha Trang, Vietnam, and sixth in the 2012 FIBA Asia U-18 Championship in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
He was then tapped to coach Petron (now San Miguel Beer) in 2012, but lasted just two conferences as the Blaze Boosters failed to reach the finals in both the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup.
Racela was replaced by Gee Abanilla before the Governors’ Cup, but was moved to San Mig Super Coffee (now Star Hotshots) as one of Tim Cone’s assistant coaches.