The French NT coach Claude Bergeaud officially announced yesterday that he will step back from the head coach position. After the disappointing 8th place and the non-qualification for the Olympics, the French NT needed some change.
Bergeaud, who led the French team however to a Bronze Medal in 2005 and a5th place at the World Championships will step back as being the loser of the Eurobasket 2007. Bergeaud wrote a long letter where he stated the following:
A very hostile climate developed around the project that I was supposed to pilot (…). The necessary conditions for an expected result are not there anymore, unfortunately. The consequence is, essentially in the interest of our sport, that I took the decision to not continue my mission as National Team head coach.
After the disappointment in Spain, a commission built around Bozidar Maljkovic and Jean-Pierre de Vincenzi has been created by the French federation in order to find a solution for the NT.
I have always worked in a serene way, in a clear way, without any underground complot, without political moves. Is this also true for our "politicians"?
I hope that the next head coach will find a politically helpful environment to accomplish the highest ambitions.
You can see, that Bergeaud really not felt comfortable at the end anymore and it was more of an open secret that he was not backed by the powerful people with the French Federation.
Directly after the end of the Eurobasket, a commission has been established where I was not a member. I did not get any information about what has been talked there. Also, nobody wanted to listen to me when I would have something to say about the experience as being the head coach during the last four years. I make the conclusion out of this that my opinion is not worth a lot neither in the analysis of the situation, nor in the future projections.
So the big question is now who will take over the head coaching position. Of course, the name of Antoine Rigaudeau is going around. "Le Roi" himself declared already a few weeks ago that he is open for any proposition around the French NT. Actually, he is the vice-president of the Paris-Levallois team and he did not deny any speculations about taking over the head coach of the French NT.
On the other side, Bergeaud is rumored to go back to his native region and take over Pau-Orthez again.