Norman Black - Career - Ateneo Blue Eagles Head Coach

Ateneo Blue Eagles Head Coach

In 2004, Black was hired by the Ateneo Blue Eagles as its team consultant. But after a disappointing 2004 season, in which the Blue Eagles finished third under Sandy Arespacochaga, school officials hired Black as the Blue Eagles' new head coach for the 2005 campaign, the 35th coach in its history.

Black led the Blue Eagles to a 10-4 win-loss record in his first season, but they were eliminated by the De La Salle Green Archers, who had a twice to beat advantage against them.

In the 69th season, Black led the Blue Eagles to a 10-2 win-loss slate, the best record in the elimination round. After defeating the Adamson Falcons in the Final Four, Ateneo battled the UST Growling Tigers in a grueling three game series. Black designed a play in their Game 1 victory. The play was a long inbound pass by Macky Escalona who found a wide-open Kramer underneath the basket for the victory. However, despite the historic Game 1 victory, they were unable to win the championship. They lost to the Tigers in Game 2 by a large margin, and then in Game 3 in overtime.

In 2007, during the UAAP's 70th season, in spite of a lack of talent, Black led the Eagles to a 9-5 standing. However, the Blue Eagles still lost in crucial games; they were unable to secure the No. 2 Seed due to their loss to the NU Bulldogs, and lost to the returning De La Salle Green Archers in a battle for the No. 2 seed, which would have given them a twice to beat advantage had they won. Instead, they settled for the No. 3 seed, and were able to eliminate the defending champions UST Growling Tigers. The Blue Eagles then forced a do-or-die game against La Salle in the semifinals but lost.

Later that year, Black coached the Blue Eagles to winning the 2007 Collegiate Champions League national basketball title, where they defeated the University of the Visayas Green Lancers.

In 2008, for season 71 of the UAAP, Black led the Blue Eagles to a 13-1 elimination round record, and won the championship over the defending champions La Salle by sweeping the series with Ateneo winning, 69-61 in Game 1, and, 62-51 in Game 2.This was the Ateneo's first UAAP title since winning it in 2002 . Months later, Black coached the Blue Eagles to another championship in the annual Philippine University Games, defeating the EAC Generals.

In 2009, Black coached the Blue Eagles to three titles. In UAAP Season 72, the Blue Eagles won their second straight UAAP Men's Basketball Championship, won against the UE Red Warriors, and again with a 13-1 win loss record. This was followed by back-to-back titles in the University Games, this time won against St. Francis of Assisi College. The third title was the Blue Eagles' second national championship under his tutelage in the 2009 Philippine Collegiate Championship, the successor to the Collegiate Champions League, where they defeated the FEU Tamaraws

In 2010, he won his first three-peat as a coach for Ateneo Blue Eagles for UAAP Season 73, duplicating the Grand Slam feat when he was a coach for San Miguel Beermen in 1989. Black led the Blue Eagles to a 10-4 win-loss record in the eliminations (good for solo 2nd place and the last twice-to-beat advantage), a victory over the Adamson Falcons in the semifinals, and a sweep of the FEU Tamaraws in the finals, with a 72-49 blowout victory in Game 1 and a 65-62 title-clinching victory in Game 2 (in which the Eagles were threatened throughout the game). Later that year, Black coached the Blue Eagles to winning the 2010 Philippine Collegiate Championship title, this time against the Adamson Falcons, earning his team their third national championship under his tutelage.

In 2011, Norman Black once again steered the Ateneo Blue Eagles to a rare Four-peat as head coach for UAAP Season 74, joining the UST Growling Tigers and the De La Salle Green Archers as the only schools to win four basketball titles in a row since the Final Four started in 1994. Under Black, the Blue Eagles finished the eliminations with a 13-1 win-loss record. They faced the UST Growling Tigers in the Final Four, with Ateneo winning, 69-66. Later on in the Finals, it was a rematch against their previous year's opponent, the FEU Tamaraws. Once again, Black and the Ateneo Blue Eagles swept the series, with Ateneo winning, 82-64 in Game 1, and, 82-69 in Game 2.

In 2012, months before the opening of the 75th season of the UAAP Black announced that he would be leaving the Ateneo Blue Eagles right after UAAP Season 75 to go to the pros and to takeover the coaching duties of the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters from Coach Chot Reyes, who would be leaving the team to coach the Smart Gilas II. At the end of the UAAP season, the Blue Eagles won another championship, their fifth in a row.

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