|Years at VC:||29th Year|
|Associate's Degree:||A.A., Glendale College, 1974|
|Bachelor's Degree:||B.S., UCLA, 1977|
|Master's Degree:||M.Ed., Azusa Pacific University, 1986|
After nearly a generation at the helm of the Ventura College women's basketball team, Ned Mircetic has led the program to golden achievements unparalleled in the history of the school, state, and nation. VC has won 28 consecutive Western State Conference North Division titles and has been victorious in over 86 percent (815-127, .865) of its games with under Mircetic, including winning nearly 98 percent (301-7, .977) of its WSC games. The Pirates have won seven state championships during the Mircetic years, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2010 and 2014. VC played in seven straight state championship games during one stretch, 1996-2002, while making the state Final Four nine consecutive seasons, 1995-2003. Mircetic's Pirate teams have participated in the state Elite Eight a record 16 seasons, including six of the past 11 years (2008-2018). He has been named the national Coach of the Year once, the State Coach of the Year four times and the WSC Coach of the Year 12 times.
Mircetic and the Pirates made history a year ago. On December 10, 2017, Ventura defeated San Bernardino Valley 56-39 to give Mircetic his 800th head coaching victory. He became just the 18th collegiate women's basketball coach to achieve the 800-win milestone, and the first California community college women's coach to reach the palteau. Additionally, he achieved 800 wins in just 923 games, making him the fastest to reach the mark. By comparison, Geno Auriema of Connecticut recorded his 800th career win in 2012 in 928 games and Lin Laursen of Central Arizona CC achieved her 800th victory in 2003 in 934 games.
Mircetic was the first, and to date the only California Community College coach to receive the Russell Athletic-WBCA National JC/CC Coach of the Year, winning the award in 2009. In that season, he pulled double duty, leading both the men's and women's teams to WSC titles while pacing the women to the State Final Four. Combined that season, Mircetic was 58-10 overall (34-1 with the women and 24-9 with the men) and 21-3 (12-0 women, 9-3 men) in conference play. He was a finalist for the honor in 2008 when he coached VC to the State Elite Eight and again in 2014 leading the Pirates to a record seventh state championship.
Mircetic is entering his 34th season overall at Ventura College, having served as an assistant coach for the Pirate men from 1986-1990 before taking over the women's program. In serving as both a head or assistant coach, Mircetic has won 34 conference championships in 33 years of coaching men's and women's basketball at Ventura College.
In 2010, Mircetic became the winningest coach in California community college women's basketball history and he surpassed the 700-win plateau on January 25, 2014 with a win at College of the Canyons. His 815 career victories are 114 wins ahead of the next highest win total on the CCCAA's all-time wins list. Among those in the top 20 of the winningest basketball coaches in CCCAA history, Mircetic has the highest winning percentage (.865) and is one of three on the list who have won over 80 percent of their games. Mircetic's seven state championships are unmatched in the history of the sport in California, and only two other coaches have more than two titles.
In February 2007, the Pirates helped Mircetic make history as he became the fastest coach in college basketball history, at any level, to reach the 500-win plateau. Later that year he was honored with his induction into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame.
More importantly, the Pirates have excelled in the classroom under Mircetic's guidance. They have won three CCCAA State Scholar Team Awards and have been honored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association on its National Academic Honor Roll for 14 of the past 15 seasons (2004-2018).
Following the 2002 state championship, the Pirates were honored as the top academic team in the state by winning the CCCAA State Scholar Team Award. In that year, VC posted a team fall semester GPA of 3.37 and was the first team in California in any sport to win both the state championship and the scholar team award. Ventura followed up their State Final Four appearance by winning the State Scholar Team Award for the 2008-09 year with a team fall semester GPA of 3.37, and in 2014-15, the the team posted a program-record 3.39 GPA to earn the honor for a third time.
Additionally, the team is perpetually honored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) on their National Academic Honor Roll as one of the top academic achieving community college programs in the country. VC was ranked No.10 following the 2003-04 season, No. 8 on the national list for the 2004-05 year, and achieved a No. 16 national ranking in 2005-06. The Pirates earned a 3.272 GPA to earn the No. 7 ranking on the national honor roll in 2006-07 before they made it to No. 6 in 2007-08 with a 3.344 GPA. In 2008-09, the Pirates earned their best-ever national showing with GPA's of 3.37 and 3.36 in the fall and spring semesters, respectively, placing second on the national list with a collective GPA of 3.367. In 2010, the Pirates finished at No. 7 on the honor roll, and in 2011 they came in at No. 12. In 2012, VC earned the No. 9 spot on the national ranking, finishing at No. 6 in 2013. In 2015 the Pirates achieved a program-record 3.405 GPA, earning a No. 7 national ranking, and in 2016 the Pirates were No. 14. VC's 3.325 team GPA in 2016-17 was good for the No. 7 ranking on the WBCA's annual list. A year ago, Venura achieved a 3.182 team GPA for the No. 14 ranking in the nation. Ventura is the only community college program in the country to have been honored by the WBCA 14 times over the past 15 years, and just one other four-year school has earned more recognitionover that time span.
Mircetic's former players have also excelled individually on and off the court. There have been countless All-WSC performers in addition to 39 All-State honorees. Nine Pirates have been named the state co-player of the year and 11 have earned All-American honors (one, twice).
Off the court, 137 Pirate alumnae have matriculated to four-year colleges and universities during Mircetic's tenure, and most of them have received their bachelor's degree. Over the years, 25 players have gone on to play NCAA Division I basketball following their career at VC (three others have beome Div. I athletes in another sport), with 27 playing at the NCAA Division II level, nine playing NAIA basketball, and seven continuing play at NCAA Division III. Many have transferred their Ventura College basketball experience into a career, moving to the sidelines themselves. Currently there are many former Ventura College players coaching at the high school or college level.
Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1953, Coach Mircetic emigrated to the U.S. with his family via Paris, France in 1960. He spent many of his formative years in Chicago before moving to Southern California in 1967. He played basketball at La Cañada High School, graduating in 1971. Mircetic earned his A.A. degree from Glendale College in 1974 and his B.S. degree in kinesiology from UCLA in 1977. He earned his M.Ed. degree with an emphasis in physical education from Azusa Pacific in 1986.
Mircetic started his coaching career at St. Bonaventure High School, coaching the freshman/sophomore and JV boy's teams in 1982 and 1983. He assisted with the men's and women's teams at Oxnard College from 1983 to 1985 when he joined Phil Mathews as the assistant men's coach at VC.
During the next five seasons (1986-90), Mircetic helped lead the Pirates to a 125-39 (.762) record and five WSC titles. In 1987, the Pirates won the California State Championship, the College's first state title in 35 years, while posting a 31-4 record. Mircetic was named head coach of the women's team prior to the 1990-91 season.
During his college days at UCLA, Coach Mircetic spent many nights in Westwood as an usher at Pauley Pavilion watching the Bruins under coach John Wooden toward the end of their magical run of 10 national championships in 12 seasons. Coach Wooden defined success not in winning and losing, but in "becoming the best you are capable of becoming."
Influenced by Wooden and Mathews, Coach Mircetic's focus has always been on the effort his teams put forth on the court. "Our philosophy, from basic fundamentals through team play, has its foundation in playing hard," said the coach. "It is our trademark and signature. Playing hard identifies who we are as individuals and as a team. Playing hard is more than winning and losing. It means giving your best effort all the time. Playing hard is the most important skill we teach here at Ventura College."
Believing in the simplicity of the game, as taught by John Wooden, Coach Mircetic has built the program on one phrase, "We Play Hard!" as taught by Coach Mathews. He continues building the program, brick-by-brick, in a never-ending process of excellence focused on fulfillment of individual and team potential, not on winning and losing.
"We encourage our players to give their best effort in everything they do, on and off the court," said Coach Mircetic.
"We Play Hard becomes a way of life and allows our students to achieve their full potential, and therefore achieve success, both on the basketball court and in life."