"It's really fun to come to work." - Jovan Vavic
Vavic now has 500 career wins on the men's side to go with his 516 on the women's side at USC.
Junior is the sixth USC woman to win collegiate water polo’s highest honor.
Stephania Haralabidis' fifth goal of the game nets the title for the Trojans in an 8-7 win over Stanford.
USC men's water polo won its sixth straight NCAA championship with a 12-11 overtime victory over Pacific on Dec. 8, 2013
PAC-12 COACH OF THE CENTURY | 14 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS |
With 14 national championships won during his tenure at USC, Jovan Vavic has the most team titles of any USC head coach in history.
Also solidified as one of the top water polo coaches in the country, Vavic serves a dual role as the head coach of both the USC men’s and women’s teams. He now has led both to national championships four times in the same school year (1998-99, 2003-04, 2009-10 and 2012-13), and lifted USC to an unprecedented six consecutive men’s national championships with the Trojans’ run to the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 titles.
He now holds 14 national championships (nine men’s and five women’s), and is a 13-time National Coach of the Year and 11-time MPSF Coach of the Year between the two programs. He also has seen his players win 12 Peter J. Cutino Awards.
Now in his 22nd season at the helm of the men’s program, Vavic has improved his career coaching record on the men’s side to 494-82 (.858). In his tenure as men’s head coach, Vavic boasts a winning record against all opponents on the men’s side of the game, recording only two losses in 2019 years against teams outside the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. He is 336-80 (.808) against MPSF teams since 1995.
In 2015, Vavic guided the Trojans back to the NCAA title match for the 11th straight season and finished up with a 22-7 overall record. The prevous year, Vavic’s young 2014 Trojans were led by eventual Peter J. Cutino Award winner Kostas Genidounias, who became the program’s all-time top scorer during his senior season. That year, USC would defy the odds and reach the NCAA title game for the 10th consecutive season, finishing as runners-up to close the year at 24-7 overall.
In 2013, USC pulled off a sixth consecutive NCAA crown — won in an overtime battle with Pacific. The experienced USC squad snatched the title from the Tigers and finished up with a 28-4 overall record. With a roster that would include six 2013 All-Americans, USC finished the year with seven straight wins in also claiming the MPSF Tournament title.
For the third time in four years, Vavic’s 2012 team boasted a program-high nine All-Americans — including National Coach of the Year honors for Vavic and the National Player of the Year award for Vavic’s son, Nikola — following USC’s run to a perfect 29-0 season and the 2012 National Championship. In their home pool, the Trojans captured their fifth consecutive title with a heart-stopping 11-10 win over UCLA in the final. Vavic’s 2013 women’s team would go on to complete a dominating year for USC in winning the women’s title.
In 2011, the USC men finished off a fourth straight national title run with a 24-3 overall record thanks to a 7-4 win over UCLA in the final. In the calendar year of 2010, Vavic swept both sides of the game, following 2010 National and MPSF Coach of the Year awards on the women’s side with 2010 National and MPSF Coach of the Year with the men in leading the Trojan men to their third consecutive national championship.
The 2010 campaign saw Vavic’s Trojans defy the national predictions of a fourth-place finish in the conference by instead forcing their way to successfully defending their NCAA crowns with a third straight national championship. A 12-10 overtime win over host Cal in the 2010 title match finished off a 28-2 record for the MPSF and NCAA champions. In 2009, Vavic had guided the Trojans to a 26-2 record en route to USC’s second straight national championship. In the 2009 title match, the Trojans beat UCLA 7-6 to win USC’s fifth NCAA championship. Soon after, Vavic was named the National Coach of the Year, and he would see his players sweep the Cutino Awards for the third time in his career, as J.W. Krumpholz and Kami Craig went back-to-back as the 2009 and 2010 Cutino Award winners following the USC women’s run to the 2010 NCAA Championship.
In 2008, the USC men were unstoppable. The Trojans claimed the program’s third MPSF Championship on the way to the best season in program history with a 29-0 undefeated mark that culminated in the 2008 NCAA Championship for USC’s fourth national title. Vavic’s 300th career men’s win was notched on Oct. 12, 2008 in a 12-7 win over Cal 12-7 in the SoCal Tournament semifinals.
USC posted its first undefeated regular season in 2006, as its overall winning streak reached a program-record 44 straight victories. Vavic was named the MPSF Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career, and the Trojans finished 2006 with a 26-2 overall record after a last-second loss in the NCAA final. It was USC’s second straight trip to the final, as Vavic had guided the Trojans to their third-ever NCAA Championship and a program-best 26-1 record in 2005.
For his success in guiding USC to the NCAA crown in 2005, Vavic was named the National Men’s Coach of the Year. His Trojans also claimed the 2005 MPSF Championship, and Vavic earned himself MPSF Coach of the Year honors as well. At 26-1, USC posted its most wins in history and broke another record by closing out the year on an 19-game winning streak.
Vavic came to USC in 1992 as an assistant coach, joined John Williams as co-head coach in 1995 and took over the men’s head coaching reins in 1999 after Williams retired. He and Williams were named National Coaches of the Year in 1998 after leading USC to its first-ever national championship. They also were named MPSF Co-Coaches of the Year in 1996 after leading USC to the conference title.
In fact, in the 1998-99 season, Vavic did something no other coach has accomplished as his teams won three national championships. In addition to capturing the 1998 men’s and 1999 women’s titles, his 1999 men’s club team won the Men’s Senior National Club Championship. In 2003, Vavic pulled a coaching double sweep when he was named 2003 National and MPSF Coach of the Year for the men and 2004 National and MPSF Coach of the Year for the women.
Vavic has been with the USC women’s program since its inception in 1995, and the 2004 women’s team became the first team in NCAA Championship history to go undefeated (29-0) during the regular season. USC’s 25-3 overall mark in 2010 culminated in the women’s program’s third national championship and 13th straight 20-win season. And in 2013, the Women of Troy played the longest NCAA women’s final in history, beating Stanford in triple sudden-death overtime to win USC’s fourth National Championship. Overall, Vavic’s career record on the women’s side stands at 490-142 (.775) in 21 seasons as head coach. Vavic earned his 300th career win with the Women of Troy in the third-place game of the 2007 NCAA Tournament on May 13, 2007.
Vavic oversaw the women’s water polo team’s move from Division II in 1995 to Division I in 1996. In 1999, the USC women captured their first national championship. Since 1999 when the program was fully funded, Vavic’s record is 402-69 (.854). He has swept as National and MPSF Coach of the Year in 1999, 2004 and 2010.
Vavic spent the 1990 season as an assistant men’s coach at UCLA. Previously, he coached three seasons (1987-1990) at Palos Verdes High, with two undefeated league seasons (1987-89). Vavic served as a U.S. assistant coach at the 1995 World University Games, and was the head coach of the team in 2003. He also served as interim head coach for Team USA at the 2013 UANA World Aquatic Championship Qualification Tournament.
Vavic, a native of Yugoslavia, graduated from UCLA in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children: Nikola, Monica, Marko and Stefan.
1996 MPSF Men's Co-Coach of the Year
1998 National Men's Co-Coach of the Year
1999 MPSF Women's Coach of the Year
1999 National Women's Coach of the Year
2003 MPSF Men's Coach of the Year
2003 National Men's Coach of the Year
2004 MPSF Women's Coach of the Year
2004 National Women's Coach of the Year
2005 MPSF Men's Coach of the Year
2005 National Men's Coach of the Year
2006 MPSF Men's Coach of the Year
2008 MPSF Men's Coach of the Year
2008 National Men's Coach of the Year
2009 National Men's Coach of the Year
2010 MPSF Women's Coach of the Year
2010 National Women's Coach of the Year
2010 MPSF Men's Coach of the Year
2010 National Men's Coach of the Year
2011 National Men's Coach of the Year
2012 National Men's Coach of the Year
2013 MPSF Women's Coach of the Year
2013 National Women's Coach of the Year
2016 MPSF Women's Coach of the Year
2016 National Women's Coach of the Year
Men's career coaching record: 494-82 (.858) • 21 seasons
Women's career coaching record: 516-142 (.785) • 22 seasons
JOVAN VAVIC WITH USC WOMEN