The striker may remain on the periphery of the Croatia national team, and has been usurped by Romelu Lukaku at Everton, but he left a lasting impression on the Ibrox manager. The only regret for McCoist is the circumstances of Jelavic's departure, since the chaos of the Craig Whyte era saw the player sold at a lower price than he might have raised.
Jelavic remains a part of the Croatia squad, although the likes of Mario Mandzukic, the Bayern Munich striker, and Eduardo, of Shakhtar Donetsk, will be more likely to start ahead of him on Tuesday night.
Igor Stimac, the Croatia manager, will want to end the World Cup qualifying campaign on a positive note. His players were booed after losing 2-1 at home to Belgium last Friday night, even though Croatia still secured a play-off place.
McCoist remains certain of the Jelavic's worth, even if his form has diminished in recent seasons. Jelavic scored 36 times in two seasons at Ibrox, although his time in Scotland was interrupted by injury.
McCoist said. "He was not a No10-type creator - he was more of an old-fashioned centre-forward. What I really liked about him was that he scored all sorts of goals."
Jelavic left Ibrox in January 2012, only weeks before Rangers went into administration. The need to raise cash meant that he joined Everton for £5m, a fee that McCoist still feels undervalued the player. There may have been little choice at the time, but it continues to irk the Ibrox manager.
"He gave us a couple of great years although I was a little bit disappointed in the manner he left the club," McCoist said.
"Steven Fletcher, who I admire, went for something like £13m within weeks of Jelavic going for £5m. Darren Bent, who I like as well, went for £19m. But you can't tell me there's £12m or £14m worth of a difference between Jelavic and these boys.
"Davie [Moyes] knows he got a snip at £5m - and good on him. If I was in Davie's shoes I'd have done the same thing. No, he has not admitted the theft. But I'm sure over a glass of wine one night he will admit it."