Vasily Karasev Named Coach Of The Year

Zenit head coach Vasily Karasev has been named the 2015-16 VTB United League Coach of the Year. Karasev was honored prior to Game 3 of the playoff semifinal series vs. UNICS, with VTB United League president Sergey Kushchenko on hand to present the award.

The Coach of the Year was selected by the league's expert panel, featuring 12 basketball legends from across Eastern Europe: Gundars Vetra (Latvia), Ivan Edeshko (Russia), Sergei Elevich (Russia), Jiri Zidek (Czech Republic), Andrei Kirilenko (Russia), Ilona Korstin (Russia), Nikita Morgunov (Russia), Hanno Mottola (Finland), Martin Muursepp (Estonia), Egor Meshcheryakov (Belarus), Sergei Tarakanov (Russia) and Valery Tikhonenko (Kazakhstan/Russia).

Following a poll of the expert panel, Zenit head coach Vasily Karasev earned the most votes (5), beating out Lokomotiv-Kuban's Georgios Bartzokas (4), CSKA's Dimitris Itoudis (1), Nizhny Novgorod's Ainars Bagatskis (1) and UNICS's Evgeny Pashutin (1).

Vasily Karasev and Zenit finished in 3rd place during the regular season, winning 23 of 30 games. Karasev managed to successfully revamp his team after injuries to several key players left the club short-handed. Thanks to a strong finish to the season, St. Petersburg ended up 3rd in the standings, finishing ahead of Khimki and Lokomotiv-Kuban.

This is the 3rd year that the league has named a Coach of the Year. Khimki head coach Rimas Kurtinaitis picked up the award in 2013-14, while CSKA's Dimitris Itoudis won the prize in 2014-15.

- Of course, it's nice to receive an award like this, - noted Karasev. - At the same time, I want to say that this was a joint effort by the entire team, coaching staff and players together. Any personal achievement is the result of diligent work as a group. No one gets named the best in anything and does it all on their own, alone. We created a competitive team this season; a team that can compete with any of the top teams in our country. This prize is only further proof of that.