Stanicic, an associate head coach, was named the interim head coach on Sept. 26 after then-head coach Mike Schofield resigned for personal reasons. Stanicic took a team that was 8-9 at the time and posted an 11-6 record the rest of the season and leading Navy to a CWPA Southern Division title. Navy finished the year winning 10 of its final 11 contests and Stanicic was named the CWPA Southern Division Coach of the Year. The Mids finished third overall in the CWPA Championship.
“Mladen did a great job as our interim head coach and proved he deserves this opportunity,” Gladchuk said. “The Midshipmen responded extremely well to his leadership as evidenced by winning the Southern Division title and by being recognized as coach of the year by his peers within the conference. Coach Stanicic’s technical knowledge of the game is proven and he has always been a first-class representative of the Academy. Mladen has earned the opportunity to advance our program to new levels of national achievement. His extensive track record in the sport speaks volumes to his ability to train, coach, and lead his teams to championships."
“I am thankful to Mr. Gladchuk for giving me this opportunity to join the group of exceptional head coaches already at this great institution. The list is too long to name,” Stanicic said. “I am also very excited about the prospect of continuing to work with a great group of Midshipmen and making my contribution to their success not just in the pool, but also to their success as it pertains to the mission of the Naval Academy. I also want to thank the entire Naval Academy Athletic Association staff for their support during the season and during this process and to the water polo team, particularly the seniors and their families.”
Stanicic has been with Navy for a total of nine years covering two separate coaching stints and has helped lead the Midshipmen to four NCAA tournament appearances and eight CWPA championship game appearances as an assistant coach.
In 2012, Stanicic helped guide the Midshipmen to a 23-6 record and a CWPA Southern Division regular-season championship. The Midshipmen bolted out to a 20-2 record in 2012, one of its best starts in school history, and scored 467 goals, an average of 16.1 goals per game.
In 2011, Navy recorded a 24-7 record and reached the CWPA Eastern championship game for the league-record seventh consecutive time.
Stanicic helped the team to a 25-7 record in 2010 and the CWPA Southern Division title and an appearance in the CWPA Eastern title game for the sixth consecutive year.
In 2009, Stanicic helped the team to a 22-9 record and the CWPA regular-season co-championship and tournament title.
Stanicic served as an interim coach for eight games during the 2007 season, leading the Mids to a 7-1 mark during those games, while starting the team off on its school record 19-game winning streak.
After immigrating to the United States, he briefly volunteered as a coach for the Fordham men's team. After relocating to Annapolis, Stanicic joined the Naval Academy Aquatics Club as a coach. He also volunteered with the men's varsity team as an assistant coach, particularly in 1988, helping the Mids win the Eastern championship and participate at the NCAA tournament.
Stanicic has also worked with the Naval Academy Aquatic Club and led both men's and women's teams to 14 national championships including the Women's Open in 1999 and multiple-age group titles in 20 and under, 18 and under, 16 and under and 14 and under competitions.
He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Split at Zadar, Croatia in 1981.