Water Polo’s Stanicic to Transition From Head Coach
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Naval Academy Athletic Association announced on Tuesday that Mladen Stanicic would be transitioning from his role as the head coach of the Navy water polo team. The veteran coach spent 13 seasons with the Midshipmen, including the last four years as the head coach.
Stanicic ends his tenure as the varsity head coach with an overall record of 73-68 (.518), including a 52-59 (.468) record during his four full seasons as head coach.
“Thirteen years as a varsity coach at the Naval Academy brings with it many experiences and leadership opportunities that have benefited hundreds of our Midshipmen,” Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk stated. “I am extremely grateful for Mladen’s many contributions over the years and the impact he has made on the Yard, as not only a varsity coach, but as a respected educator. His warm and embracing personality has always been very much appreciated as well as his determination to achieve success and represent the Academy with the highest degree of honor, determination, and integrity. All within our community should extend their appreciation for his contributions on many fronts.”
Stanicic completed his fourth full season as head coach during the 2017 season after being elevated from interim head coach on Dec. 20, 2013. A veteran of the Navy water polo program, Stanicic filled roles as a volunteer, assistant, associate head, and 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. Stanicic 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.
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.
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 multiple National Championships including the Women's Open in 1999 and several age-group titles in 20 and under, 18 and under, 16 and under and 14 and under competitions.