Beloved University of Hawaii assistant men’s volleyball coach Milan Zarkovic earned his U.S. citizenship last week, much to the delight of many of his former and current players and colleagues.

Zarkovic came to UH 10 years ago along with his son, Siki, a former standout outside hitter for the Rainbow Warriors.

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Since then, the elder Zarkovic has established himself as a staple in the program under head coach Charlie Wade, endearing himself to many. Zarkovic has also earned a reputation as an ace international recruiter.

“I didn’t plan to even, first of all, to come to America,” he said. “But when the mission is calling, then I came with Siki here, and I can say he brought me here with the big blessing of Charlie Wade. And then after so many years to say that I felt these people here and I felt that HawaiiI is in me and that I am here in Hawaii.

“This is a big honor for me and big responsibility. It is not only my volleyball nationality but now, except American volleyball, nationality. I got also citizenship and American nationality; I am proud a Serbian but proud American as well.”