The winner of the special award of the COC 2010 for outstanding achievements in handball, Velimir Kljajic, a top handball trainer and coach. Winner of Croatian Olympic Committee's special recognition for 2010 Velimir Kljaić (posthumously)
VELIMIR KLJAIĆ - Top handball coach and Head Coach Velimir Kljaić (Danilo near Šibenik, February 10, 1946 - Zagreb, August 12, 2010) dedicated his entire life to handball. He was a top player, and afterwards again top coach and Head Coach.
Velimir Kljaić spent his active career spent playing in Zagreb’s club Medveščak and Austrian club Klagenfurt, and after many years of playing, he dedicated himself to the coaching career. In Germany, he has coached many clubs, but achieved his greatest success with Nürnberg, turning it - in only four years - from a second league club into a highly successful first league club. In 1992, he was proclaimed the Best Handball Coach in Germany and in the same year he has won at the German Championships and EHF Cup with SG Wallau-Massenheim.
Besides the club coach career, Velimir Kljaić was successfully leading the Croatian National Handball Team. In the history of Croatian sports, he will be remembered as Head Coach of the Croatian National Team – winner of gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics 1996, the first Olympic gold for Croatian sports since the Croatian independence. Velimir Kljajić was a man of clear views, good soul and a big heart, an extraordinary handball expert who trained many generations of handball players and gave a special contribution to the development of Croatian and world handball. He has worked as an expert commentator in television broadcasts, interesting, incisive and expert analysis, and the last time we heard him was at the European Championships in Austria in January this year. Excellent handball coach and Head Coach Velimir Kljaić, prematurely deceased due to short and severe illness, was posthumously awarded the highest State Award for Sports, the award "Franjo Bučar” for life's work.