Antonio Díaz-Miguel

Antonio Díaz-Miguel (July 6, 1933 in Alcázar de San Juan, Ciudad Real, Spain – February 21, 2000 in Madrid, Spain) was a Spanish professional basketball coach. He studied in Madrid, and graduated from the University of Bilbao.

Basketball playing career

Although initially a soccer player in his youth, Díaz-Miguel's physical characteristics, including a 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) height, and also his determination, contributed to his start in basketball, as a player, at the Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu Secondary School of Madrid, where the Estudiantes ("students") club was founded in 1950, with pupils and teachers of the school. He was a player of Estudiantes Club of Madrid in 1950-52, and 1953–1958, and later also played with Real Madrid (1958–1961) and Águilas of Bilbao (1961–1963). He had 27 caps as a player of the Spanish national basketball team. He won the top-tier level Spanish Clubs League Championship twice, in 1959 and 1960, with Real Madrid. Immediately after his retirement from his basketball playing career, he started coaching Águilas. Following that, he later provisionally, and nearly by chance, became the coach of the Spanish National Team, where he managed to develop longstanding success for the team and the sport of basketball in Spain.

Basketball coaching career

Díaz-Miguel was the head coach of the Spanish national basketball team for as long as 27 years (1965–1992). In more than 300 games coached, Díaz-Miguel guided the Spanish National Team to six Summer Olympics tournaments, including a silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles; which was the top classification for the Spanish National Team until 2008, when they finished second again. Díaz-Miguel's Spanish National teams participated in 14 EuroBaskets and four FIBA World Cups, and his team's best finishes were two silver medals (EuroBasket 1973, EuroBasket 1983) and one bronze medal (EuroBasket 1991) in the EuroBasket.

He was named "Best Spanish Coach of the year" in 1981 and 1983. Díaz-Miguel coached six different FIBA European Selection teams, that were created only for very occasional special basketball events in Europe. A pioneer in the worldwide promotion of basketball, he won numerous coaching awards, and was a frequent basketball lecturer around the world. He was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame, as a coach, on September 29, 1997. He is the only Spaniard in the Hall. In 2007, he was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame.

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