22.08.2018, 05:00
Slovenia mourns passing of Miro Požun

OBITUARY: The legendary national team coach, who also led Celje to the EHF Champions League and Supercup titles in 2004, has passed away after illness at the age of 76

Slovenia mourns passing of Miro Požun

A coach, who has left his mark on Slovenian handball like hardly anyone else, is no longer among us. At age 76, Miro Požun sadly passed away this week after battling severe illness.

Požun has played an instrumental role in the development of handball in Slovenia since the country became independent in 1991. He soon started as an assistant coach under Toni Tiselj at the newly founded Slovenian handball federation.

Požun became the head coach of the national team for the first time in 1995/96, and remained for several years as an assistant to his successor, Slavko Ivezic. Ten years later, in 2007, Požun returned to the helm for two more years. In this period, he led Slovenia to 10th place at the Men’s EHF EURO 2008 in Norway.

A highly successful club coach

In the meantime, Požun had made a name for himself as a highly successful club coach, most notably with RK Celje.

In 2004, he steered Celje to the two-leg final of the EHF Champions League against SG Flensburg-Handewitt. At home, the Slovenian side won 34:28. And though they lost the return in Germany 30:28, they became the first and, so far, only club from Slovenia to lift the most coveted trophy in European club handball.

The same year, Požun also led Celje to victory in the EHF Supercup after they beat another German opponent in the final, THW Kiel (30:29).

Apart from Celje, Požun also had coaching stints at Šoštanj and Velenje.

Požun will not only be remembered for his achievements as coach, but also for his warm personality, which made him more than just a coach to many of the players he worked with through the years, including the likes of Vid Kavticnik, Aleš Pajovič, Roman Pungartnik, Siarhei Rutenka and Uroš Zorman.

Photos courtesy of RK Celje Pivovarna Laško

TEXT: EHF / ew

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