Simovic Named Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach at UCLA

The UCLA men’s basketball program has hired Ivo Simovic as an assistant coach, as announced Friday by Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach.
Simovic brings a veteran coaching pedigree to Westwood, with experience in college, European and NBA circles. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, he has served as assistant coach at Loyola University Maryland for the past four seasons. In addition, his coaching career in the United States has included stops at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of Hartford.
Simovic has worked as an international scout for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and has headed youth and senior national teams affiliated with Spain and his native country, Serbia.
“My family and I are very excited to become part of the Bruins’ family,” Simovic said. “I’m especially grateful for this opportunity from Coach Cronin, and I am looking forward to being a part of and learning from his coaching staff. I will do everything in my power to help our team and to represent UCLA with a high level of integrity and pride. It’s absolutely an honor for me to join this historic basketball program.”
Prior to coaching at the NCAA level, Simovic served as a coach in Spain and his native country of Serbia. He was the head coach and sports director for CB Espacio Torrelodones near Madrid, Spain. He helped the organization attract some of the top Spanish talent during an eight-year run with the program. Simovic served as the Torrelodones’ head coach in Liga EBA from 2007-09 before he became the general manager and head coach of the organization’s U-18 and U-20 teams.
“Ivo is a great person who will fit well our culture of personal and professional development,” Cronin said. “He has recruited NBA players, has excelled as an international scout for the San Antonio Spurs, and was just 24 years old as the head coach for the highly-regarded Red Star in Serbia. He was 28 when he got the head coaching job in Spain. We wanted to find the best coach available who would be the right fit for UCLA, so we took our time and diligently searched the basketball world. Certainly, international recruiting is one of his strengths. But we know that he’s very good at building relationships, and that will be vital to us when you talk about team building, player development and recruiting. We are very excited to add Ivo to our coaching staff.”
During his final years in Spain, Simovic served as an international scout with the San Antonio Spurs. He was an assistant coach for the organization’s NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas in 2013 and 2014. Simovic received an NBA championship ring with San Antonio in 2014 after the organization won the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
One of the coaches that he had hired and worked with in the Torrelodones program in Spain was Darko Rajakovic, who served as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns before joining the staff of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Simovic spent the first seven years of his professional career as the head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Red Star in Belgrade (known formally as Crvena zvezda, this professional club is a founding member and shareholder of the Adriatic Basketball Association). He coached several players on youth and senior national teams for Serbia and Montenegro that won multiple European championships. Red Star won the 2004 Serbian Championship under Simovic’s leadership and finished as a runner-up for Serbia in 2007.
Simovic, 43, graduated from Union University in Belgrade with his bachelor’s degree in industrial economic management in 2013. He and his wife, Jelena, have two children, Ema and Marko.

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