Marko Pintaric Promoted To Associate Head Coach
Feb. 6, 2014
Ever since earning his own All-American status as a member of USC's 1998 national championship team, Marko Pintaric has remained poolside for the USC men's water polo program. He has served in an assistant role for head coach Jovan Vavic for 12 seasons -- coaching the USC men and women to 11 national championships and seeing the Trojans churn out 133 All-American awards during that span. Now in his 13th season on the USC staff, Pintaric has been promoted to associate head coach for both the men's and women's programs by Vavic.
"Pinta has been absolutely key to our success," Vavic said of Pintaric, who has worked largely with the USC goalies during his tenure. "I owe him a great deal for everything he's done. He's been a loyal right-hand man and he's a true student of the game. We really work well together where he understands what I need to do and I completely trust in his ability in so many areas."
In the last Olympic Games, four USC goalies -- all coached by Pintaric while at Troy -- competed in London. In the past 12 years, nine different USC goalies have earned a place on NCAA All-Tournament Teams. But Pintaric's skill set reaches far beyond the cage. Just last season, when Vavic was ejected from a game while the Trojans trailed UCLA by three goals late in the game, Pintaric stepped in and USC would roar back into the lead and win the match.
"I really saw Pinta's strengths in that game," Vavic said. "That was a game that really gave us the lift we needed to go on and win the national championship last season."
Pintaric's first year as an assistant to Vavic was in 2001-02 following his graduation from USC in 2000. He has since received his master's in communication management to go along with the communications degree he earned during his playing career at Troy, where as a field player for the Trojans, Pintaric was named the 1998 National Player of the Year and was a two-time All-American. A native of Croatia, Pintaric served as an assistant to Vavic in an interim role at the helm of the USA Men's National Team in November 2012.