Louie Gonzalez makes his return to the NCAA and will now call the shots for the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers in Season 95.
In a statement released by the school, Gonzalez has been named the head coach since April 1, 2019.
"JRU is pleased to announce the appointment of Louie Gonzalez as head coach of its Men's Basketball Team effective April 1, 2019, succeeding one of PBA's 25 Greatest Vergel Meneses who is running for public office," the statement read.
"Coach Louie Gonzalez has had over two decades of top level coaching in the premier collegiate sports leagues like the NCAA and the UAAP and has been on numerous championship teams. He is widely involved in the grassroots development of basketball in the Philippines."
Gonzalez's hiring came months after the departure of longtime JRU coach Vergel Meneses. The PBA legend spent nine years at the helm, entering the postseason a number of times, before ultimately deciding to focus on his political career earlier this year. In Season 94, the Heavy Bomber had a subpar campaign where they ended up with a 3-15 record.
Gonzalez meanwhile is coming off a disappointing UAAP season. With him on the sidelines, the De La Salle Green Archers had an 8-6 record but missed out in the Final Four after losing a playoff against the FEU Tamaraws.
He will now reenter the NCAA foray where he last won a title in 2015 as an assistant to the Letran Knights. He also carries with him a UAAP championship with the Green Archers in 2016. Both collegiate titles were under head coach Aldin Ayo.
According to the statement by JRU, Gonzalez will be aided by Eddie Laure, Eric Dela Cuesta, Nixon Ramos, and Vic Lazaro, who is the head coach of the Light Bombers. Glen Capacio will also be part of his staff as an active consultant.
Gonzales and the rest of the Heavy Bombers will be in action for the upcoming 2019 FilOil Preseason tournament in May.