CofC introduces new basketball coach - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

CofC introduces new basketball coach

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News CofC basketball coach Doug Wojcik, left, and university president George Benson, right, shake hands after Wednesday's press conference. (Brian Troutman/WCIV) News CofC basketball coach Doug Wojcik, left, and university president George Benson, right, shake hands after Wednesday's press conference. (Brian Troutman/WCIV)
Coach Wojcik speaks to the media, students, supporters and players Tuesday, with the support of his family, seated to the left. (Brian Troutman/WCIV) Coach Wojcik speaks to the media, students, supporters and players Tuesday, with the support of his family, seated to the left. (Brian Troutman/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The man called "a perfect fit" by College of Charleston President George Benson was introduced Wednesday.

Former Tulsa men's basketball coach, 47-year-old Doug Wojcik was officially introduced as the new CofC men's basketball coach at a press conference.

Wojcik spent seven seasons at Tulsa where he became the head coach with the most wins in program history.

"He must have done something right at some point," said CofC student Audrey Rittenhouse. "Obviously the college wants him for a reason and I'm sure they're right in their reasons."
 
Wojcik never took the Golden Hurricanes to the NCAA tournament, however, and according to The Associated Press, Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley called Wojcik's firing on March 11 "a business decision," and said a change was needed.
 
"I think when you make a move like that, a guy that's coming off something that's not too impressive, it sounds pretty desperate," said CofC student Anthony Buirum.

CofC athletic director Joe Hull addressed Wojcik's termination from Tulsa.

"To be honest with you, I can't tell you why," Hull said. "I can tell you this, Doug left Tulsa dramatically better than he found it."

Wojcik took the podium and said that he sees his new position at CofC as a "national job" and "one of the best jobs that became available this spring."

"What I see is College of Charleston basketball being on the national level," he said.

Wojcik said he had a great meeting with many of the players last night, and he hopes to break down the coach/player barriers.

"Education is very important to me," he said. "I believe in my responsibility in mentoring these young men."

Wojcik set goals to win the Southern Conference, saying that CofC would be the next Creighton, VCU, or Butler. He said to get that done, you need "talent and character."

Wojcik's hire came as a surprise for many CofC supporters who pegged assistant coach Mark Byington for the job. Byington took the reigns of the team after head coach Bobby Cremins went on medical leave. At the conclusion of the season, Cremins announced his retirement.

Byington said he is currently working to recruit new players with Wojcik and knows his career would benefit from working with the former Tulsa head coach he described as "well-connected."

Byington admitted he has other opportunities, and in the end, he will make the best decision for his family.

"Obviously, right now, I've got to kind of make a decision pretty quick and kinda do what's best for myself and my family," Byington said. "There's been talks with different people. It's just the nature of the business right now. You talk with different coaches at different schools, and you know, some places they want you. Some places, you want them. It's kinda finding a fine line on what's going to be best for everybody."

Wojcik confirmed Byington has the opportunity to continue working at CofC.

"Mark's been great. We're working hand-in-hand," Wojcik said. "He's really helping me with the team. ...He and I are working great. He has a job here. In fact, it is his job, and I want him to be here. He is a huge asset and a great coach."

* ABC News 4's Sandra Ecklund, Scott Eisberg and Brian Troutman contributed to this report.

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