Entering his first full season as head coach, Stanicic was elevated from interim head coach on Dec. 20, 2013. A 10-year veteran of the Navy Water Polo program, he has filled roles as a volunteer, assistant and associate head coach for the Midshipmen since 1988.
After serving for eight seasons as an associate and assistant coach under Mike Schofield, Navy's all-time winningest coach, Stanicic was named the interim head coach on Sept. 26, 2013 after Schofield retired. He turned the Mids season around and led the team to an 11-6 record and its 14th CWPA Southern Championship in program history. In recognition of the program's success Stanicic was named the 2013 CWPA Southern Division Coach of the Year. Honorable Mention All-America nods to Carl Dowzicky and Carpenter Warren rounded off the 2013 year for Stanicic and the Mids.
During the 2012 season, Stanicic helped guide the Midshipmen to a 23-6 record and a CWPA Southern Division regular-season championship. The Midshipmen bolted out to a 20-2 record in 2012, one of its best starts in school history, and scored a whopping 467 goals, an average of 16.1 goals per game.
In 2011, Navy recorded a 24-7 record and reached the CWPA Eastern Championship game for the league-record seventh straight time.
Stanicic assisted the team to a 25-7 record four years ago and the CWPA Southern Division title and an appearance in the CWPA Eastern title game for the sixth straight year during the 2010 season.
Five years ago, Stanicic helped the team to a 22-9 record and the CWPA regular-season co- championship and tournament title.
Stanicic served as an interim coach for eight games during the 2007 season, leading the Mids to a 7-1 mark during those games, while starting the team off on its school record 19-game winning streak. He also filled in for a pair of wins in the 2011 season against Connecticut College and Harvard, while head coach Mike Schofield was in California with another Navy squad. In 2013, split-squad action saw Stanicic lead the Mids at the Princeton Invitational for three games. The three head coaching stints gave Stanicic a 9-3 coaching record.
After immigrating to the United States, he briefly volunteered as a coach for the Fordham University men's water polo team. After relocating to Annapolis, Stanicic joined the Naval Academy Aquatics Club as a coach. He also volunteered with the men's varsity team as an assistant coach, particularly in 1988, helping the Mids to win the Eastern Championship and participate at the NCAA Tournament.
He continued in his role as volunteer coach with varying degrees of engagement. Since 1988, coaching the Navy goalkeepers has been his specialty, producing a number of All-East and All-American selectees.
Throughout the years following 1988, Stanicic continued to work with the Naval Academy Aquatic Club and led both men's and women's teams to 14 national championships including the Women's Open in 1999 and multiple-age group titles in 20 and under, 18 and under, 16 and under and 14 and under competitions.
He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Split at Zadar, Croatia, in 1981.
Mladen and his wife, Miriam, are the parents of Maro (34) and Blaise (27). Miriam serves as the USNA Director of Community Relations.
Both Miriam and Mladen are also high-level interpreters and translators with the U.S. Government. Their assignments have included interpreting for U.S. and foreign Heads of State, Secretaries of State, Secretaries of Defense and Chiefs of Defense, while their translating work included international treaties.
Maro is a former Naval Academy Aquatic Club swimmer and water polo player while Blaise was a standout at the University of Maryland, receiving a pair of All-American honors by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches, becoming the first all-American in the history of the Maryland water polo program. Upon graduating, she played professionally overseas for WPC Mladost, Zagreb, Croatia to win the 2010 National Championship and, she played for the Croatian National Team, competing at the 2010 European Championship Games. Upon her return to the US, she also served as an assistant coach for the men's and women's teams at George Washington University.