Aleksandar Džikić

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Aleksandar Džikić
Aleksandar Džikić.jpg
Džikić coaching Partizan in May 2016
Personal information
Born (1971-03-23) 23 March 1971 (age 49)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
PositionHead coach
Coaching career1991–present
Career history
As coach:
1994–1997Beovuk (assistant)
1999–2005Partizan (assistant)
20052007Minnesota Timberwolves (assistant)
2008Olimpija Ljubljana
2011–2012Lietuvos rytas
Career highlights and awards

Aleksandar Džikić (Serbian: Александар Џикић; born 23 March 1971) is a Serbian professional basketball coach. His last team as head coach was Movistar Estudiantes of the Liga ACB.

Coaching career[edit]

Early career[edit]

KK Partizan youth system[edit]

Džikić began his coaching career in 1991 by getting hired to a staff position within the KK Partizan youth system, assisting youth team head coach Dragan Dragosavac.[1] Working with youth prospects such as sixteen-year-olds Predrag Drobnjak and Aleksandar Čubrilo, the youth team assistant coach soon got the opportunity to even coach the Partizan youth squad after Dragosavac left.

After Dragosavac, young Džikić assisted subsequent Partizan youth team head coaches Petar Rodić (1992-1993) and Nenad Trajković (1993-1994).[1]


In 1994, Džikić accepted KK Beovuk's offer of becoming head coach Milan "Miša" Lakić's first assistant with further coaching responsibilities in the club's youth system featuring talented prospects, some of whom — Dejan Milojević, Predrag Savović, and Ognjen Aškrabić — would go on to notable basketball careers.[1]

During summer 1997, twenty-six-year-old Džikić became Beovuk's head coach, his first head coaching experience.[1] He stayed at the job for two seasons (1997–98 and 1998-99) leading the team in FR Yugoslavia's second-tier basketball league.

Assistant at KK Partizan[edit]

In summer 1999, Džikić returned to KK Partizan in an assistant coaching capacity, a move facilitated by the club's incoming head coach Nenad Trajković — Džikić's old boss from their time coaching in the club's youth system.

Trajković lasted only a season and Darko Russo took over the head coaching post in summer 2000 while Džikić remained in the assistant role.

In summer 2001 Duško Vujošević returned as Partizan's head coach after ten years away from the club, and Džikić once again continued in his assistant role — contributing to the team's four consecutive Serbia and Montenegro league titles from 2002 to 2005.[2]

From August 2002, Džikić's public profile in Serbia got raised as he began writing an online blog/column on[3] Written with irregular frequency, the column would continue until November 2007.

While assisting Vujošević at Partizan, Džikić got his first taste of the NBA through Summer League in 2003. He ended up on two different coaching staffs that summer — Seattle's and San Antonio's — first with the SuperSonics for three weeks in Los Angeles, working under head coach Nate McMillan and his assistants Dwane Casey and Dean Demopoulos. A few days after Seattle's summer league participation ended, Džikić went to Salt Lake City to join San Antonio's coaching staff featuring head coach Gregg Popovich in addition to his assistants Mike Brown, Mike Budenholzer, Brett Brown, Joe Prunty, and video coordinator James Borrego.

After completing the 2003-04 season assisting Vujošević at Partizan, Džikić went back for another NBA Summer League stint with San Antonio for three weeks in July 2004 on invitation by the team's head coach Gregg Popovich.[4] While with the Spurs, the assistant coach continued writing his online column, providing his readers with insider views from the San Antonio Summer League camp.[5] Džikić reunited with Popovich less than a month later at the Belgrade International Coaching Clinic,[6] interpreting and translating for the famous coach who was additionally in town as the US national team assistant to Larry Brown for their friendly game versus Serbia-Montenegro ahead of the upcoming Summer Olympics in Athens. Later that summer, through the Serbian Basketball Coaches Association (UKTS) professional development program, Džikić got to spend a month in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with the Roy Williams-coached North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball program as it prepared for the upcoming season.[7]

In summer 2005, after completing the 2004-05 season assisting Vujošević at Partizan, Džikić got invited by the newly hired Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Dwane Casey to join the team for their 2005 Summer League.

In late July 2005, while still with the Timberwolves in the Summer League, the thirty-four-year-old got announced as the new head coach of KK Atlas, a Belgrade-based club competing in Serbia and Montenegro's top-tier basketball league, for the upcoming 2005-06 season.[8] It was to be only his second head coaching job and his very first time being head coach in the country's top division, however, due to an unexpected offer from the NBA before the Serbian-Montenegrin season even began,[9] he never ended up coaching Atlas in any official games.

Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach[edit]

In September 2005, after completing his 2005 Summer League coaching stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center and coming back to Serbia where he had begun his head coaching duties at KK Atlas, Džikić suddenly received and accepted the Timberwolves' 3-year guaranteed contract offer for an assistant coaching position on their staff under incoming head coach Dwane Casey.[10] Taking the Timberwolves' assistant job entailed leaving the head coaching post at Atlas after only six weeks, before having a chance to coach a single official game. Thirty-four-year-old Džikić thus became the very first NBA assistant coach with no prior coaching experience in the United States at either the collegiate or professional level. Additionally, he became just the second European native to be hired as an NBA assistant coach, after Igor Kokoškov who got on the Los Angeles Clippers coaching staff in an assistant role in 2000.

Only sixteen months removed from their brilliant 2004 playoff run when they made the Western Conference final, the Timberwolves were looking to return to playoff contention following a disappointing season during which they made a coaching change, firing their longtime coach Flip Saunders around the 2005 All-Star break with the team out of a playoff position. Working alongside newly named coach Casey's other assistants — Johnny Davis, Rex Kalamian, and Vince Taylor — Džikić was tasked with working with rookies Rashad McCants and Bracey Wright during his first season at Minnesota.

Casey got fired by the Timberwolves in January 2007 and replaced with Randy Wittman, one of his assistants. As a result of Casey's firing, Džikić got let go from his assistant coaching role though he stayed with the organization in scouting capacity until the end of the season.

In late 2007, Džikić went back to Europe.

Union Olimpija[edit]

On 7 January 2008, after spending two and half years in the United States, Džikić became head coach of Slovenian team KK Union Olimpija.[11]

Olimpija Union dismissed him in December 2008, after bad results in Adriatic League and EuroLeague and was replaced by Jure Zdovc.[12]


On 15 July 2009, he became head coach of KK Krka in Slovenia.[13][14]

In his first season, Krka did not compete in the Adriatic League thus being able to fully focus on the Slovenian League competition. Džikić led the club to the Premier A Slovenian League title, the club's third in history, beating his old club Olimpija 3–2 in the playoff final series.[15]

In the following 2010–11 season, he added to his success with Krka. Following a 17–9 Adriatic League regular season record, they made the Adriatic League final four in Ljubljana where they lost to old rivals Olimpija. Some ten days later Krka won the 2010–11 FIBA EuroChallenge, defeating PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban in the final. Finally, they repeated as Slovenian Basketball League champions.[16] Soon after the successful seasons with Krka, richer European clubs, like BC Khimki, expressed interest in his services. He returned to Krka in June 2013.

Lietuvos rytas[edit]

In July 2011 Džikić was named the head coach of Lithuanian team BC Lietuvos rytas.[17] In his first season at the club, the team came runners-up in the domestic league, losing the playoff final 0-3 to Žalgiris. The club recorded significant success on the European stage - following the heartbreak of missing out on EuroLeague due to losing versus Galatasaray at the last stage of qualifying tournament, the team responded by making the Eurocup final-four where they lost the semi-final to Valencia before winning the third place match over Spartak Saint Petersburg. Lietuvos rytas also took part in two regional competitions: VTB United League where they made the final-four, losing the semi-final to powerhouse CSKA Moscow and also the Baltic Basketball League, which they joined at the playoff stage and made the final that they lost to Žalgiris.

On 12 October 2012, he parted ways with the team.

Return to Krka[edit]

In 2013, Džikić returned to be a head coach of the Slovenian team Krka. In June 2015, he left Krka.[18]

Partizan Belgrade[edit]

On January 5, 2016, he was named a head coach of the Serbian team Partizan Belgrade, following the departure of Petar Božić.[19] On June 13, 2017, he parted ways with Partizan.[20]


On 22 June 2017, Džikić was named the head coach of Budućnost Podgorica.[21]

In February 2018, Budućnost won its 5th consecutive, and 11th overall, Montenegrin Basketball Cup, beating KK Mornar Bar 87–83 in the final game.[22]

In the ABA League, Džikić led Budućnost to second place in the regular season with a 17–5 record. In the ABA League playoffs semifinal best-of-three series, they eliminated the Croatian team Cedevita 2 games to 1.[23] In April 2018, Budućnost won the ABA League best-of-five finals series 3 games to 1 against the reigning champions Crvena zvezda.[24] They were thus crowned ABA League champions for the first time in club history and also secured a spot in the 2018–19 EuroLeague, marking their return to the elite European competition after 16 seasons.[24]

On 31 July 2018, Džikić re-signed with Budućnost for two more seasons.[25]

On 29 December 2018, one day after losing away to Bayern Munich in EuroLeague despite being up by 17 points in the first half and by 16 in the third quarter,[26] Džikić got released by Budućnost.[27] The Bayern loss was the sixth consecutive defeat for the club in all competitions during mid-to-late December 2018 — a losing streak that began on 14 December 2018 at Gran Canaria in EuroLeague, continuing two days later in Zagreb away to KK Cibona in the Adriatic League, and then two more days after that on 18 December 2018 at Anadolu Efes in EuroLeague followed by a home EuroLeague loss versus Fenerbahçe on 20 December 2018, and a road loss to KK Krka on the Christmas eve. Budućnost had a 3–12 record in EuroLeague as well as 8-4 record in the Adriatic League (3rd spot in the standings) at the time of Džikić's firing.


On July 3, 2019, Džikić became the head coach of Movistar Estudiantes.[28] On January 21, 2020, he parted ways and left the team in the last position with only four wins out of 18 matches played.[29]

National team coaching[edit]

Youth level[edit]

FR Yugoslavia under-16 assistant[edit]

Džikić assisted head coach Petar Rodić who selected the Yugoslav under-16 (cadet) team at the 1999 European Championship for Cadets.[1]

Serbia under-20 head coach[edit]

On 4 May 2011, Džikić got named the head coach of Serbian under-20 national team, in parallel with his club coaching duties at Krka.[30]

Two months later, in July 2011, he selected the team for the sixteen-squad 2011 European under-20 Championship in Bilbao, Spain. Led by nineteen and twenty-year-old prospects Nemanja Nedović, Nemanja Jaramaz, Danilo Anđušić, Nikola Kalinić, and Branislav Đekić, Serbia got eliminated at the group stage after recording a win versus Russia in the opening game, followed by two blowout losses, to Montenegro and Slovenia. This sent the team to the 13th to 16th place classification round with Lithuania, Croatia, and Austria with the knowledge that the bottom two teams would be relegated to European under-20 B division. Džikić's team finally got their act together, recording six assured wins to stay in the A division.

The following summer, Džikić — who had in the meantime moved on to coaching Lietuvos rytas at the club level — selected the Serbian under-20 team for the 2012 European under-20 Championship in Slovenia. Led by a new group of talented prospects — Bogdan Bogdanović, Luka Mitrović, Ivan Marinković, Nenad Miljenović, Nemanja Bešović, and Stefan Nastić — Serbia dominated its first-round group with two blowout wins, over Montenegro and Germany, followed by a three-point win over France. Džikić's team continued its domination in the second-round group stage with three more blowout wins, this time over Ukraine, Greece, and Russia. In the quarterfinals, the first single-elimination stage, Serbia comfortably defeated Latvia thus qualifying for the semifinals. In the semis, they faced Lithuania and lost by five points, getting relegated to the bronze-medal game. Serbia lost the third-place game versus Spain by a point thus finishing just out of the medals.

Macedonia national basketball team[edit]

On 31 December 2013 Džikić got named head coach of the Macedonia national basketball team, succeeding Aleš Pipan in the job.[31]

Coaching record[edit]

G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the team played during the season. He also coached in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.


Team Year G W L W–L% Result
Union Olimpija 2007–08 4 1 3 .250 Eliminated in regular season
2008–09 6 1 5 .167 Fired
Lietuvos rytas 2012–13 1 0 1 .000 Fired
Budućnost 2018–19 15 3 12 .200 Fired
Career 26 5 21 .192

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Matić, Đorđe (12 January 2003). "Mogu da sugerišem, ali odluke donosi trener!". Glas javnosti. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  2. ^ - Aleksandar Džikić
  3. ^ Džikić, Aleksandar. "Džikić at". Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  4. ^ "A. Džikić ponovo medju Spursima". 4 July 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  5. ^ Džikić, Aleksandar (14 July 2004). "A. Džikić: "Insajder" u organizaciji Spursa". Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  6. ^ Dragić, D. (6 August 2004). "Znanje vrednije od samog zlata". Glas Javnosti. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Poznati treneri za usavršavanje u SAD". 5 August 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  8. ^ "B92:Aleksandar Džikić trener Atlasa". 20 July 2005. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Džikić pomoćnik Kejsija u Minesoti!". 6 September 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Aleksandar Dzikic new assistant coach in Minnesota Timbervolves". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  11. ^ - Aleksandar Dzikic New Olimpija Coach
  12. ^ - Olimpija Dismiss Head Coach Aleksandar Dzikic
  13. ^ - Aleksandar Dzikic new head coach of Krka
  14. ^ - Aleksandar Džikić
  17. ^ Aleksandar Džikić tudi uradno na klopi Rytasa Archived 14 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in Slovene)
  18. ^ "Džikić napustio Krku". (in Serbian). 22 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  19. ^ "KK Partizan: Božić otišao, Džikić novi trener". (in Serbian). 5 January 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Džile, hvala i srećno!". (in Serbian). 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Budućnost appoint Džikić as new head coach and sign Nikolić". 22 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  22. ^ Janičić, Svetozar (17 February 2018). "Kup Crne Gore: Budućnost dobila triler protiv Mornara". (in Serbian). Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  23. ^ Jovanović, Nenad (1 April 2018). "Fantastično slavlje ekipe Aleksandra Džikića" (in Serbian). Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  24. ^ a b Pavlović, A. (14 April 2018). "Budućnost osvojila ABA ligu". (in Serbian). Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  25. ^ Zarić, Milan (31 July 2018). "PODGORIČANI NE MENJAJU TRENERA Džikić na klupi Budućnosti još dve godine". (in Serbian). Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  26. ^ T., P. (28 December 2018). "Radonjić nadmudrio Džikića – Budućnost "prosula" +17 u Minhenu". (in Serbian). Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Džikić dobio otkaz, poznat je i novi trener Budućnosti!" (in Serbian). 29 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  28. ^ "ACB.COM - Aleksandar Džikic dirigirá al Movistar Estu". (in Spanish). 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  29. ^ "Estudiantes, Aleksandar Dzikic part ways". Sportando. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  30. ^ - Džikić preuzima mladu selekciju(Serbian)
  31. ^ Džikić: Cilj je plasman Makedonije na Evropsko prvenstvo;Blic, 31 December 2013

External links[edit]