Club News

Pepe Mel biography

A detailed look at the career of Albion's new head coach

PEPE Mel, whose full name is Jose Mel Perez, arrives in England having developed an impressive coaching pedigree in Spain.

He led Real Betis into the Europa League last season thanks to a seventh-placed La Liga finish, beating Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid 1-0 in the process.

His tenure with the Seville-based club started in July 2010 and he guided them to promotion from the second division as champions in his first season at the helm.

In their first campaign back in the top flight, Mel guided them to a 13th-placed finish.

Mel parted company with Real Betis in December as their ongoing financial struggles finally took their toll.

The Madrid-born 50-year-old has also coached eight other clubs in his homeland since hanging up his boots as a player in 1998.

He spent time at Coslada, Merida and Real Murcia before replacing Valencia-bound Rafael Benitez at newly-promoted Tenerife – his first top-flight spell as a boss.

Between 2003 and 2006, he coached Getafe, Deportivo Alaves and Polideportivo Ejido in Spain’s second tier.

During four years with now-Primera Liga outfit Rayo Vallecano, Mel won promotion to the second division in 2007/08.

He then came within touching distance of a second successive promotion the following season, ultimately finishing fifth.

As a player, Mel was schooled as a striker in Real Madrid’s youth system from the age of 11.

He went on to play for their C and B teams before leaving the Spanish giants in 1987.


Mel subsequently joined Osasuna, Castellon, Betis, Granada, Benidorm, Getafe, Ecija Balompie and French club Angers, where he retired at the age of 35.