Dec. 20, 2013
Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced on Friday that he naming Mladen Stanicic the head water polo coach at the Naval Academy.
Stanicic, an associate head coach, was named the interim head coach on Sept. 26 after then-head coach Mike Schofield resigned for personal reasons. Stanicic took over a team that was 8-9 at the time and posted an 11-6 record the rest of the season and leading Navy to a CWPA Southern Division title. Navy finished the year winning 10 of its final 11 contests and Stanicic was named the CWPA Southern Division Coach of the Year. The Mids finished third overall in the CWPA Championship
“Mladen did a great job as our interim head coach and proved he deserves this opportunity,” said Gladchuk. “The midshipmen responded extremely well to his leadership as evidenced by winning the Southern Division title and by being recognized as coach of the year by his peers within the conference. Coach Stanicic’s technical knowledge of the game is proven and he has always been a first class representative of the Academy. Mladen has earned the opportunity to advance our program to new levels of national achievement. His extensive track record in the sport speaks volumes to his ability to train, coach, and lead his teams to championships.
“I am thankful to Mr. Gladchuk for giving me this opportunity to join the group of exceptional head coaches already at this great institution. The list is too long to name,” said Stanicic. “I am also very excited about the prospect of continuing to work with a great group of midshipmen and making my contribution to their success not just in the pool, but also to their success as it pertains to the mission of the Naval Academy. I also want to thank the entire Naval Academy Athletic Association staff for their support during the season and during this process and to the water polo team, particularly the seniors and their families.”
Stanicic has been with the Navy water polo program for a total of nine years over two separate coaching stints and has helped lead the Midshipmen to four NCAA tournament appearances, eight CWPA championship game appearances as an assistant coach.
In 2012, 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 an incredible 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 helped the team to a 25-7 record in 2010 and the CWPA Southern Division title and an appearance in the CWPA Eastern title game for the sixth straight year.
In 2009, 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.
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 win the Eastern Championship and participate at the NCAA Tournament.
Stanicic has also worked 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 (33) and Blaise (26). 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. One of Stanicic’s most recent assignments was providing language support to the Office of the Vice President in Rome for the Papal Visit in 2013.
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. Blaise served as the volunteer assistant at Navy in the fall.