Hüseyin Eroğlu was joyous when his team Altınordu defeated Gazişehir Gaziantep 1-0 Monday. But this small victory also marked a unique accomplishment for the veteran coach. Eroğlu broke the record as the longest-serving coach for a professional football team in Turkey, now having led Altınordu in 226 league games.
It is only four matches more than Gordon Milne, the former coach of the Super League outfit Beşiktaş who led the Black Eagles in 222 matches between 1987 and 1993. Yet, this is a rare feat for Eroğlu in Turkish football where coaches are sent off unceremoniously, often in the middle of the season.
Altınordu, which 46-year-old Eroğlu has coached for seven seasons, is in the fifth spot in the Spor Toto First League, the second-tier league of Turkish football. The club is known internationally as the "football factory" and for producing world class talents like Cengiz Ünder and Çağlar Söyüncü. The İzmir-based club's football team has made strides in the First League though they failed to reach the top-tier league.
Under Eroğlu, the team saw 113 wins, 60 draws and 53 defeats and top titles in lesser leagues, along with 381 goals. Eroğlu downplayed his contribution to success, emphasizing that it is more about team play. "Our success is tied to stability and team play. The team has clockwork precision when it comes to success," he said. Eroğlu started his coaching career with Bucaspor, another İzmir-based team, in 2007 before joining Altınordu in 2012. His contract with Altınordu expires in 2020.