Dec. 1, 2008
Stockton, Calif.- Media Relations Graduate Assistant Morgan McSweeney had a chance to sit down with former Tiger water polo player Dragan Bakic to talk about his career and future plans. Bakic is one of the prominent figures in Pacific water polo history, ranking second on the career scoring list with 245 goals, and also earning four all-america awards in his career at Pacific. Dragan is currently the Assistant Water Polo Coach at Pacific for men's water polo.
1) Coming here from Split, Croatia, a long way from friends and family, what about Pacific drew you to Stockton in the first place?
To be honest, pure luck and Mike Maroney. I was looking for a good water polo program as well as a great academic institution and I narrowed my choices down to Pacific, Pepperdine, USC and LMU. Pacific was the first one that offered me full scholarship and that's how I became a Tiger.
2) What was the driving force for you while you were playing at Pacific?
Teammates. I had a great group of guys that I played with, we would never be ranked fifth in the nation if we weren't as good friends outside of the pool as we were. I would never have accomplished what I did individually if I didn't have those guys covering my back.
3) You're in your first season as the assistant coach here at Pacific, but you are also working on your MBA degree at Pacific as well. What do you think you can draw from your experiences in the water that will benefit you in both facets of your life?
Individually, time management and hard working skills. Being a successful student athlete required great time management in order to fulfill the entire requirement as well as never give up attitude. Collectively, working in the group and just knowing people. I met so many people from all over the world during my years at Pacific that could benefit me in my international business career.
4) Looking back at your career here at Pacific, what is the one thing that you will remember most?
Beating Stanford 11-10 in double over time in front of the biggest crowd that Chris Kjeldsen pool ever had. There were many great memories, but nothing can compare to that one.
5) What is the impression that you feel you left on the water polo program at Pacific in your time as a player, and what do you hope to leave as a coach?
I would prefer if you asked this question to the guys I played with or the guys that I'm coaching right now because it's a hard question to answer. I hope left that feeling of passion when playing the game every time I jumped in the pool. I also hope I set an example of how to be not only a successful athlete, but also an excellent student which should be a primary focus for every student athlete.
6) Looking into the future for men's water polo here at Pacific, what do you foresee them accomplishing in the future?
Looking long term, new head coach James Graham is doing a great job with the team. With his guidance of this program, it will not take too much time before we will be back in top five teams in the nation where a program like this one belongs.
7) What are your plans for the future, both at Pacific and beyond?
I will be graduating from the MBA program in December 2009 and after that I will look into possibilities of pursuing a career in international business, while also staying involved in water polo as much as I can.