FC Bayern Munich is in a search for a new head of bench with the news on Sunday that Svetislav Pesic has resigned from the head coaching position after three and a half years at the post. Pesic, who will turn 67 later this summer and had another year left on his contract, has cited health reasons for his decision, as he has gone through surgeries on both of his knees this summer, and will require a lengthy recovery. Bayern was the latest stop in Pesic’s great career. Pesic is one of only three people - along with Lolo Sainz and Armenak Alachachan - to win the Euroleague title as a player and a coach. He has joined Bayern in November 2012 and has taken the club to the very elite of German and European basketball. Pesic led Bayern to win the German League in 2014, and also make it to the Top 16 for the first time ever. Bayern announced Svetislav Pesic will be closely involved in the decision of finding his replacement.
“In coaching job two things are fundamentally important: you have to make decisions and you have responsibility for the team and the development of the players”, Svetislav Pesic said after the extensive discussions with doctors and the management of Bayern. “I am sure that I have now made not only a good decision for my health, but also taken the appropriate responsibility in terms of the further development of our team. For any subsequent decision which I might have taken in the false hope of a faster recovery, probably would be too great a risk for the team."
"On behalf of our club, we can only express our coach a big thanks for his stint and commitment. He has promoted this project to an extent that is extraordinary, "said Bayern CEO, and Svetislav’s son, Marko Pesic. “Much of what is due to him as a passionate ambassador of basketball, it is not always apparent to outsiders. But for example, the development of our successful junior program also goes back to him. Without his demanding personality, our project would undoubtedly not have its present shape and radiance.”
Veteran coach won the Euroleague title with Bosna Sarajevo in 1979 as a player, and lifted it again as head coach with FC Barcelona in 2003. Pesic started his coaching career with Bosna, to which he helped lift the Yugoslavian League trophy in 1983 and won the Yugoslavian Cup title in 1984. He went on to coach the German national team, to which he led to its biggest success, winning the gold medal at EuroBasket 1993 against all odds. Pesic then joined ALBA Berlin, winning four consecutive German League titles from 1997 to 2000 and lifting the Korac Cup trophy in 1995 - the first European title for a German basketball team. Pesic coached the Yugoslavian national team, leading it to win EuroBasket 2001 and the 2002 FIBA World Cup. He led Barcelona to its only triple crown – Spanish League and Cup as well as EuroLeague titles - in 2003, and won another Spanish League title in 2004. Pesic has also coached RheinEnergie Koeln, Lottomatica Roma, Akasvayu Girona, Dynamo Moscow, Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade and Valencia Basket. He won the FIBA EuroCup title with Girona in 2007 and also led the Yugoslavian U19 national team to a gold medal in the 1987 World Championships.