Dusan Ivkovic will not return to the bench of Olympiacos or any other club, the coaching legend announced Friday. Ivkovic, 68, will remain the head coach of the Serbian national team. After leading Olympiacos Piraeus to the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague title in thrilling fashion at last month’s Final Four in Istanbul and following that up with the Greek championship, club management offered Ivkovic a two-year extension. However Ivkovic, who became the oldest coach to ever guide a team to the Euroleague crown, decided that it was too stressful to remain on the sidelines with the Reds. In a release from the team, Olympiacos added that should Coach Ivkovic decide to return to coach a club, it would be with Olympiacos.
The Euroleague crown was Ivkovic's second and both came with Olympiacos. He first led the Reds to Euroleague glory in Rome in 1997. He walks away from club coaching as the only head coach to have won all four major European titles. He careers has seen Ivkovic work for a dozen club in Serbia, Greece and Russia over 29 seasons dating back to 1978. He has appeared in the Euroleague Final Four seven times with three teams in addition to winning the 1993 Saporta Cup with PAOK Thessaloniki, the 2000 Saporta Cup with AEK Athens, the 1979 Korac Cup with Partizan Belgrade and the 2006 ULEB Cup with Dynamo Moscow. Ivkovic also has won the Greek and Russian League crowns three times each, the Yugoslav championship once and a total of six cups between the three countries. Moreover, Ivkovic won the 1990 World Championships and three EuroBasket gold medals with the Yugoslaviam national team. Considered a dean among basketball coaches, Ivkovic was honored in 2008 as one of 50 legends of the first 50 years of European club basketball.
Dusan Ivkovic’s statement:
In today's scheduled meeting with president Panagiotis Angelopoulos and vice president George Skindilia, we discussed and analyzed the conditions that have shaped Greek basketball in these times of economic crisis and my stress over the last three years with my involvement with the Serbian national team. This has led to my decision not to stay with the team.
In leaving I would like to wholeheartedly thank the presidents, trustees, partners, my players and all the fans of Olympiacos.