Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski has agreed to become the 17th head coach in Marquette history, a source close to the search told Paint Touches.
Wojciechowski has spent the last 15 seasons as an assistant coach for Mike Krzyzewski. Wojciechowski played point guard for Coach K and the Blue Devils from 1994-1998 and is regarded as one of the top assistants in college basketball.
The 37-year-old Wojciechowski emerged as a legitimate candidate Sunday night, when Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Marquette was showing interest.
A source told Paint Touches that Wojociechowski completely blew away the Marquette brass in his interview Monday morning, and that his preparedness and enthusiasm pushed him ahead of Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin, who reportedly had interest in the job and also was contacted by Marquette — late Monday night CBS’s Gary Parrish reported Martin had taken himself out of consideration for the position.
Also, Wojciechowski’s connections in the AAU circuit have the administration confident he’ll be able to recruit at an elite level. Though Duke somewhat recruits itself, Wojciechowski been the lead recruiter on such players as Chris Duhon, JJ Redick, Kyle Singler, Shelden Williams and Josh McRoberts. Wojciechowski, a Polish Catholic, is also a good fit at a Jesuit university such as Marquette, the source told PT.
Early in the process a source told Paint Touches that Marquette was looking for a head coach with “elite success” under his belt, and while Wojciechowski has never been a collegiate head coach he has been part of two national championships at Duke as Krzyzewski’s right-hand man.
After Buzz Williams left Marquette for Virginia Tech two weeks ago, the Golden Eagles first reached out to former UCLA head coach Ben Howland before offering the position to VCU head coach Shaka Smart. Smart, who was rumored to be close to joining the Golden Eagles, ultimately turned down the offer. Martin was another potential candidate, as well as Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins and Green Bay’s Brian Wardle.
In four seasons at Duke, Wojciechowski averaged 5.4 points and 3.9 assists in 128 career games. He played overseas for one season before returning to Duke as an assistant. During his time with the Blue Devils he was promoted to associate head coach in 2008, and coached the Blue Devils’ frontcourt players.
Last July ESPN.com ranked Wojciechowski as the nation’s 17th best recruiting assistant coaches, noting “he’s both feared and respected. Wojo has been a key reason for the Blue Devils’ success on the recruiting trail.”
Krzyzewski’s coaching tree includes names such as Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Johnny Dawkins (Stanford), Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Jeff Capel (formerly Oklahoma) and Chris Collins (Northwestern). Collins took over the Wildcats this past season and led them to a 14-18 record, and Wojnarowski included in his report that “Marquette has been impressed with the impact” Collins had in Year 1 in Evanston.
In December Wojciechowski told CBS Sports Radio that the time to leave Duke “was approaching,” and last week Krzyzewski told reporters he planned to coach at least five more seasons, which may have forced his assistant’s hand in taking a head coaching gig that he’s undoubtedly qualified for.
Stay with PaintTouches.com throughout the day for more details on the hiring.