Bonačić in 2017
|Date of birth||21 March 1955|
|Place of birth||Split, FPR Yugoslavia|
|1973–1974||→ Šibenik (loan)||15||(2)|
|1977–1978||→ Hajduk Split (loan)||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
He was born in Split, Croatia that was then part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He began his football career at the Split Football Academy. He joined Hajduk Split in 1969 when he was 14.
He signed a pro contract with Hajduk in 1971. He made 45 games for club and scored eight goals. He joined Grasshopper Club Zürich in 1979, but after one year he transferred to VfL Bochum. CD Málaga and Footscray JUST were Bonačić's next clubs. He retired after playing for Melbourne Croatia in 1986. He was called up for the Croatian national team in 1982 but never played.
Bonačić is known as coach who gives young talented players a chance. In the 1992–93 season, when he was NK Pazinka coach, he launched the career of Dado Prso, the former Rangers and Monaco striker. Also whilst at Slaven Belupo, he started the career of young central defender Ivica Križanac who currently plays for FC Zenit in Russia.
He was selected as Croatian Coach of the Year in 1996 when he reached the final of the Croatian Cup with middle-class Croatian club NK Varteks. In 1996, he won with Varteks against Dinamo Zagreb 4–3. During this match, the referee helped Dinamo Zagreb on a few occasions, however Varteks was the better team. After many dishonest referee's decisions in favour of Dinamo Zagreb, Bonačić had a verbal conflict with Franjo Tuđman, the then President of Croatia and fan of Dinamo Zagreb. Bonačić said to Tuđman: "Mr President, can you tell to this dishonest referee to stop helping your favourite team. Despite of this dishonest referee my team will beat your club Dinamo Zagreb."
Thanks to his great success with NK Varteks Varazdin, in the 1997–98 season he became head coach of top Croatian club Hajduk Split. Soon after Bonačić's appointment, however, the management board named famous coach Tomislav Ivić as Bonačić's assistant. Ivić preferred defensive football and young coach Bonačić preferred attacking football. As a result, the team had a conflict of tactics.
After ten match days, Hajduk had won nine and lost only one match which made them leading the Croatian Championship with eight points advantage ahead of second ranking Dinamo Zagreb. The management board of Hajduk Split (controlled by Franjo Tuđman's assistants) decided to fire Bonačić and promoted Ivić to head coach. After two months, Hajduk had lost many points under Ivić and the management sacked him and asked Bonačić to return. Bonačić returned, but due to the points lost under Ivić, he could only manage a respectable second behind Dinamo Zagreb.
Bonačić is known as coach who doesn't like officials of clubs to decide which player will be in the starting eleven. On a few occasions he has left Croatian and foreign clubs when some presidents of clubs have tried to impose him which players "must" play in the first team. In 2006, he was attacked by a group of people whilst returning to his flat in Split. According to the press he was attacked by Hajduk fans, but after a few months Croatian press stated that Croatian football agents had hired out men to harm Bonačić as he had made clear his dislike of agents. Bonačić claimed that agents of players which were only substitute during his stay at Hajduk because he thought that their quality was not enough good were behind the attack. A few months after this incident he has decided to leave Hajduk and he has told for Croatian press that he will never more return to Hajduk.
In 2006, Bonačić accepted an offer as head-coach of Iranian side Sepahan. He was highly successful with Sepahan winning the Hazfi Cup in 2006 and 2007. Also in 2007, he managed to take Sepahan to the AFC Champions League final but lost to Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds 3–1 on aggregate. Sepahan became the first Iranian football club to make it to the knockout stage and final since Esteghlal in 1990's.
He returned to his previous club and was named as new head coach of Sepahan on 22 June 2011. After a 3–0 defeat to Mes Kerman in the Pro League and elimination from Champions League, Bonačić was dismissed by club chairman.
On 27 December 2012, Bonačić joined Mes Kerman as head coach for the second time but left the team at the end of the season after leading the club at the sixth place. On 1 July 2013, he was named as the head coach of Zob Ahan, signed a one-year contract with the club. On 16 December 2013, it was announced that Luka will leave Zob Ahan in January 2014 and will be succeeded by Mojtaba Taghavi. On 23 January 2014, Luka returns as manager of Mes Kerman with signing a contract until the end of the season. He led Mes Kerman to the Hazfi Cup final for the first time, however, his side lost the match 1–0 to Tractor Sazi. On 6 April, Mes Kerman relegated to the Azadegan League after a 0–0 draw with Saba Qom. He was given a one-year contract by the club to lead them in Azadegan League and promotion back Mes Kerman to the Iran Pro League at the end of the season. However, he was sacked on 11 November 2014 after poor results. On 21 November 2014, he was named as manager of Qatar Stars League side Al-Shahania.
- As of 28 September 2017
|NK Varteks||June 1995||June 1996||22||11||6||5||50.00|
|Hajduk Split||January 1997||December 1998||52||31||10||11||59.62|
|Foolad||June 2003||June 2004||26||13||8||5||50.00|
|Esteghlal Ahvaz||June 2004||February 2005||20||8||4||8||40.00|
|KS Dinamo Tirana||February 2005||February 2006||36||17||10||9||47.22|
|Hajduk Split||February 2006||June 2006||12||4||4||4||33.33|
|Sepahan||June 2006||January 2008||88||52||24||12||59.09|
|Al Nasr||July 2008||July 2009||22||6||8||8||27.27|
|Mes Kerman||December 2009||May 2010||34||11||9||14||32.35|
|Gostaresh||June 2010||June 2011||26||14||6||6||53.85|
|Sepahan||June 2011||October 2011||11||5||2||4||45.45|
|NK Zagreb||September 2012||November 2012||7||3||2||2||42.86|
|Mes Kerman||January 2013||June 2013||16||6||8||2||37.50|
|Zob Ahan||July 2013||January 2014||22||5||7||10||22.73|
|Mes Kerman||January 2014||November 2014||15||2||9||4||13.33|
|Al-Shahania||November 2014||January 2016||11||5||1||5||45.45|
|Gostaresh||June 2017||September 2017||8||2||1||5||25.00|
- NK Varteks
- Hajduk Split
- Mes Kerman
- Vidalina, Marko (2 October 2007). "Bonačić: Pretučen sam zbog trgovine u Hajduku!" (in Croatian). 24sata.hr. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Luka Bonačić becomes Sepahan head coach
- ا چند ساعت پيش علي دايي بخت اول نشستن روي نيمكت سپاهان در فصل آينده بود اما به ناگاه بوناچيچ به عنوان سرمربي اصفهاني ها انتخاب شد (in Persian). goal.com. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- قنبری: هواداران بیایند (in Persian). fooladsepahansport.com. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Rupnik, Borna (3 September 2012). "Luka Bonačić preuzima dužnost Dražena Beseka". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- "لوکا بوناچیچ" سرمربی مس کرمان شد [Luka Bonačić joins Mes Kerman as head coach] (in Persian). football.ir. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- بوناچیچ سرمربی ذوب آهن شد/امضای الکترونیکی قرارداد در کرواسی لوکا فردا در اصفهان [Luka Bonačić becomes head coach of Zob Ahan] (in Persian). goal.com. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
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