Coach Tomislav Markovic, known affectionately as “Big Tommy” within the Milwaukee basketball sphere and beyond, succumbed to a pancreatic illness, leaving a void in the hearts of many. Originally from Serbia, Markovic carried his passion for basketball across the ocean to Milwaukee, where he became a cherished coach, mentor, and friend. On the 15th of January 2024, the local sports community was dealt a heavy blow with the news of his passing.
Markovic’s contribution to sport extended beyond the basketball court; he was deeply committed to soccer and played a significant role in nurturing the Croatian community’s athletic spirit. His affiliation with the Croatian Eagles Soccer Club and his role in founding Hrvat Milwaukee underscore his deep-rooted connection with the community and the game. The Wisconsin soccer scene owes much to “Big Tommy” for his unwavering dedication and the profound impact he made.
With a philosophy that highlighted the power of sports to unite and foster camaraderie, Coach Tomislav was instrumental in cultivating a sense of togetherness at the Croatian Eagles Soccer Club. His efforts went far beyond the pitch, as he was pivotal in building lasting bonds among the players. As the community mourns, details of his funeral service and obituary are still forthcoming, though it is speculated that a ceremony may be held at an Orthodox cathedral towards the end of January 2024.
The Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club, having benefited greatly from his contributions, recognised him as a foundational figure in the local soccer community. Their heartfelt condolences reflect the collective sorrow felt by all those touched by his spirit and generosity. Coach Tomislav Markovic’s memory will undoubtedly continue to inspire and influence the lives of many within the sporting world.