Much-respected coach Oleg Bazylevych, who joined forces with Valeriy Lobanovskiy to guide Dynamo Kyiv to European club competition success in the mid-1970s, has died at the age of 80.
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“His coaching ideas were ahead of their time," said Dynamo Kyiv president Igor Surkis as he reflected on the life of one of the club's most respected coaches, Oleg Bazylevych, who has died at the age of 80.
A talented forward, Bazylevych started his senior career at Dynamo Kyiv, winning the 1961 USSR championship. He was one of the fans’ favourites as he scored a considerable number of goals from passes delivered by his fellow attacker and friend Valeriy Lobanovskiy. Later on, the pair also played together at Chornomorets Odesa and Shakhtar Donetsk.
From 1974, they transformed their friendship and united views on football into a coaching duo at Dynamo Kyiv. Officially, Lobanovskiy was head coach and Bazylevych was team manager. However, they coached the team on an equal basis and made all decisions together - leading Dynamo to UEFA European Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup successes in 1975, and two USSR league titles.
He was one of the pioneers of the so-called 'scientific approach to coaching in football', developed together with Lobanovskiy and academician Anatoliy Zelentsov. After leaving Dynamo in 1976, he was head coach at a number of clubs, and took charge of the Ukraine national team from 1992 to 1994. Following his coaching career, he worked as a head of Dynamo Kyiv’s research and development centre.
"Bazylevych and Lobanovskiy created a dream team at Dynamo Kyiv in the 1970s,” said Igor Surkis. “His coaching ideas were ahead of their time, and he was a role model for hundreds of coaches who tried to learn from his approach. Bazylevych will be remembered for as long as football is played.”