Enter Steve Wojciechowski. Wojciechowski has been an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzekski at Duke since 1999, and will venture to Marquette for his first head coaching job.
While Wojciechowski doesn’t have any head coaching experience, he is more than capable of handling the duties. Wojciechowski has honed his skills as a coach on the staff of one of the most successful programs in the country, learning from the winningest coach in Division 1 history. If that doesn’t prepare someone to be a head coach, I don’t know what does.
Hiring an assistant coach should be music to Marquette fans’ ears. The Golden Eagles have had a tremendous amount of success with assistant coaches over the years; Marquette has thrived on hiring assistants from the top programs around the country. Kevin O’Neill was brought in from Lute Olsen‘s staff at Arizona, and led Marquette to two NCAA tournament appearances,; Tom Crean was hired off of Tom Izzo‘s staff in East Lansing and led the Golden Eagles to five NCAA appearances, including a Final Four in 2003, and Williams was hired just one year removed from serving as an assistant under Billy Gillespie during the resurgence of the Texas A&M program.
Is it fair to expect this kind of success form Wojciechowski right off the bat? Of course not, but the hire will certainly rejuvenate the fan base after a tough 17-15 season.
A good comparison as to what expect from Marquette in it’s first season under Wojciechowski would be looking at the job Chris Collins has done at Northwestern. I’m not comparing the wins and losses, because Marquette is a far better team that has the ability to win right away, but focusing on the mood around the program in general. Collins has rejuvenated that Northwestern program and made a huge difference in recruiting, and I believe that Wojciechowski could have a similar impact at Marquette.
One thing to watch in Marquette’s first season under Wojciechowski is the play of Indiana transfer Luke Fischer. A top 100 recruit out of high school, Fischer transferred to Marquette to be closer to home, and he could be a perfect fit under Wojciechowski. During his tenure at Duke, Wojciechowski worked mainly with the post players, and his knowledge could really help the take Fischer’s game to the next level.
In his first season on his own, there will surely be some bumps in the road for Wojciechowski, but potential should create a lot of optimism around the Marquette program.