Jason Damjanovic has announced he is stepping down as De Anza College’s head men’s basketball coach.
“Over the past 17 seasons, I have had the opportunity to live out a professional dream as the head men’s basketball coach at De Anza College,” said Damjanovic, who will continue as full-time instructor in the Physical Education & Athletics Division.
“I have worked with some incredible student-athletes who sacrificed and allowed me to coach them. I can’t begin to express my appreciation to my players, coaches, support staff and administrators who assisted me every step of the way. It’s now time for me to move on to the next act of my life where family is my first priority. I wish nothing but continued success to this program and I am excited to see the new era of De Anza College men’s basketball.”
Before stepping away from head coaching duties following the 2021-22 season, Damjanovic compiled 197 wins – second-most in school history.
“We thank Jason for his dedication in leading the men’s basketball program,” said Eric Mendoza, Dean of Physical Education & Athletics.
“Jason’s commitment to so many student-athletes over the years was matched by a tireless work ethic, passion, and energy for their best interests. Jason takes great pride in making sure each student-athlete in his program has the resources to be successful at De Anza College. We look forward to Jason continuing to contribute to our division in other ways.”
During his career at De Anza College, Damjanovic had more than 100 student-athletes graduate with an A.A degree; 56 transfers to DI, DII or NAIA Institutions; and an 88 percent graduation rate.
De Anza College’s all-time leading scorer Aaron Buckner, who played for Damjanovic from 2005-2007, shared a recent text message about his former coach.
“I am so proud to say I was and am a part of the De Anza College basketball family, and part of the culture change Coach D created when he arrived to De Anza,” Buckner said.
“Thank you for coming into my living room in 2005 and helping me get my college career started. I appreciate everything you have done for me and my family. Without you, I would not have succeeded on and off the court. Love you Coach!”
Monterey Peninsula College men’s basketball coach Blake Spiering shared some thoughts about his longtime peer from the Coast Conference.
“I’ve known J.D. as a player and a coach and I have the utmost respect for him,” Spiering said.
“It saddens me deeply that he’s stepping away from the game which I know he loves dearly. He was a phenomenal mentor for all of his student-athletes, and he always got the most out of them on the court. His teams were always difficult to compete against. I’m going to miss him but not going to miss playing against his teams.”