Ilias Papatheodorou was born in Athens, on June 20, 1975. He played basketball for Athinaikos, with whom he made his first steps as a coach, when at the age of 20 he took over the developmental teams (mini, cadets, juniors), becoming the men’s team assistant coach during the 2001-2002 season.
He worked for Larissaikos from 2002 to 2004, winning two back to back advances to upper categories, while during the next three years (2004-2007) he got to work for Markopoulos, leading the team to win advancing to the A’ category of Athens.
He has spent the largest part of his coaching career with AE Neas Kifissias, taking the post of the head coach in 2007. Starting from the 2nd Athens division, Elias Papatheodorou led the Kifissia team to qualify for the National A1 League. He won the A2 championship in 2012-13 and led Kifissia to the Basket League from the next season, winning the 5th ranking seed during the 2013-14 season.
He decided to work abroad for the first time in his career in 2016, taking over Astana, completing with them an absolutely successful season, winning both the Kazakhstan Championship and Cup, without losing a game. He also made a remarkable course with the VTB League, winning participation in the League’s playoffs, and finally being eliminated by CSKA Moscow in the quarter finals.
Elias Papatheodorou had been the coach of the Junior National Teams from the summer of 2013 through that one of 2017. He won the golden medal in the U18 Eurobasket in 2015 and the Golden Medal in 2017 in the U20 Eurobasket.
He is the head coach of PAOK since May 27, 2017.