In basketball, as in life, Mirko Novosel never hesitated to make an immediate and lasting impression. He began his coaching career in 1966 with Lokomotiva of Zagreb in Croatia and as he quickly built that team into a contender Novosel garnered the attention of the Yugoslavian Basketball Federation. His first foray into coaching at the national level was with the Cadet and Junior teams in 1971. In 1973, after being named head coach of the national team, Novosel lead Yugoslavia to the gold medal of the European Championships, a feat he repeated in 1975. One year later, at the 1976 Olympics, Novosel led his countrymen including future Hall of Famers Kresimir Cosic and Drazen Dalipagic to a silver medal finish and followed up that performance by winning the bronze medal at the 1984 Olympic Games. Novosel was a master at getting the most from every player on the 12-man roster and his system of mixing young prospects with veteran players gave his teams stability and continuity that often translated into wins and medals.