The late Dusan Ivkovic, one of the best and most successful coaches in European basketball history, led Olympiacos Piraeus to the first two of its three EuroLeague titles to date.
Legend: Dusan Ivkovic, Olympiacos Piraeus
Ivkovic, who passed away in September of 2021, coached at 12 pro clubs in five different decades, from his native Serbia to Croatia, Greece, Russia and Turkey. He also led the Yugoslav and Serbian national teams in three different decades. His first international club title came with Partizan Belgrade, the 1979 Korac Cup. But by the time "Duda" first joined Olympiacos in 1996, he had already coached Yugoslavia to the 1990 World Cup and 1989 and 1991 EuroBasket gold medals, as well as winning silver at the 1988 Olympic Games.
In his first season with Olympiacos, Ivkovic guided the Reds to a triple crown of the EuroLeague, Greek League and Greek Cup titles. Olympiacos defeated FC Barcelona 73-58 in the 1997 EuroLeague Championship Game for the club's first continental crown after having come up short in the 1994 and 1995 finals.
Between then and his second stint with Olympiacos, starting in 2010, Ivkovic would add the Saporta Cup title with AEK Athens in 2000, lead CSKA Moscow to three EuroLeague Final Four appearances between 2003 and 2005, and take the 2006 EuroCup crown with Dynamo Moscow, making him the first head coach to win as many as four different European trophies.
Ivkovic was 68 years old when he inspired the Reds to their second EuroLeague crown in 2012, exactly 15 years after their first such title together. Ivkovic was the mastermind behind Olympiacos's comeback win in the 2012 EuroLeague Championship Game against CSKA Moscow in Istanbul. The Reds rallied from a 19-point deficit in 11 minutes to capture the title, 61-62, on a last-second shot by Georgios Printezis in what instantly became one of the most iconic moments in European basketball history.
A dean of the coaching profession, Ivkovic was a beloved teacher to his players and one of the most respected tacticians in European basketball. His place as a cherished father figure in the legacy of Olympiacos Piraeus basketball is assured forever.