The LEN Family learnt with immense sadness that legendary water polo player and coach Ivo Trumbic passed away.
As a player he claimed Olympic silver (1964) and gold medal (1968) with Yugoslavia and won three straight European Champions Cup titles with Mladost Zagreb – just to highlight the most outstanding pieces of his brilliant medal collection earned in the pool. He was one of the toughest players of his times, in the final against the Soviet Union in Mexico City he was kicked unconscious at the beginning of the extra-time and had to be moved out from the water by his teammates. After getting back his consciousness upon receiving first aid, he insisted on returning to the pool and helped his team to clinch Yugoslavia’s first-ever Olympic gold.
After his retirement he became a coach, won a national title immediately with Olympiacos in Greece in 1971, then moved to the Netherlands where he achieved one of the most unbelievable results in water polo. In an era totally dominated by the Hungarians, his fellow Yugoslavians, the Soviets and the Italians, he led the Dutch national team to an Olympic bronze in Montreal 1976, becoming a legend in Holland forever. In the 80s he moved back to Croatia to coach Jug Dubrovnik, then led Italy’s upcoming club Pescara a historical treble in 1987 (national title, European Champions Cup, European Super Cup). The early 90s found him in the Netherlands again, he coached Amersfoort and the national team again.
A great innovator and leader, he received the highest awards available for sportsmen both in Croatia and in the Netherlands and in 2005 he was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Ivo Trumbic was 86 when he left us – our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends now.
Rest in piece, Grand Maestro!