One of just five head coaches to win the Euroleague title last decade is returning to the competition as Power Electronics Valencia announced Tuesday that Svetislav Pesic will take over its bench for the rest of the season. Pesic, 61, replaces outgoing coach Manuel Hussein, who was released after Valencia lost at home to Armani Jeans Milano last week in the Euroleague. Interim coach Chechu Mulero will be on the bench Wednesday, however, when Valencia visits Group D co-leader Union Olimpija in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Pesic has been successful at the highest levels of club and international competition, originally as a player for KK Bosna Sarajevo, with whom he won the Euroleague in 1979. As a coach, Pesic had one of the best years in history, coaching Yugoslavia to the 2002 World Championships gold just eight months before leading FC Barcelona to its first Euroleague title in spring of 2003 after five previous losses in the final. With that victory, Pesic became just the second person after Lolo Sainz of Real Madrid to win the Euroleague as both a player and a head coach. Barcelona completed the triple crown that year by winning the Spanish League and the Spanish Cup, as well.
Pesic's coaching career began with five seasons at Bosna, after which he led the German national team for six years, culminating in a European title in 1993. From then until 2000, he coached Alba Berlin, winning the 1995 Korac Cup and four consecutive German League titles. After leading the Yugoslav national team two seasons and Koln of the German League for one, he made a two-year move to Barcelona, highlighted by the historic first Euroleague trophy for both. He later coached Lottomatica Roma in Italy, Girona in Spain, Dynamo Moscow of Russia and Red Star Belgrade in his native Serbia.