Feb. 18, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame fans know Matt Doherty brings a rich tradition in basketball success to Notre Dame. The success of assistant coach Doug Wojcik in collegiate basketball often goes unnoticed. Today, the Insider looks at Wojcik’s coaching career and his dedication to the Naval Academy in the second part of this four part series.
With graduation came Wojcik’s commitment for five-years of service in the Navy. He spent time attending Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport R.I. He was assigned to the USS W.S. Sims out of Jacksonville, Fla.
For his shore duty, he found himself back at the Academy to work in the Physical Education Department and to help coach. He would stay at the Naval Academy for the next nine years as an assistant coach.
Wojcik helped coach three Naval Academy teams to the tournament in ’94, ’97 and ’98. He took part in every conference title that Navy has won. Also he has been a part of six NCAA bids received in the Naval Academy’s history.
Wojcik has dedicated a considerable amount of his time to the Academy. His dedication and work ethic is exactly how he became a prime choice for the first assistant coaching job at Notre Dame. Wojcik often times competed with Doherty on the recruiting trail.
“Davidson and Navy try to attract similar players,” Wojcik said. “We would run into each other or knock heads recruiting wise.”
“Coach Doug is a good friend of mine who I got to meet when I was coaching at Davidson College,” Doherty said. “We became friendly and we would go to dinner during the Final Fours. We would see each other out recruiting and spend time together. I respected Doug for his work ethic and his integrity. He is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen.”
All of Wojcik’s hard work paid off when Doherty got the job. He arranged for Wojcik to be present at the March 30th press conference. On the same day, he announced that Wojcik became the first member of his staff.
“When I was considered for different jobs, I would talk to him about being the guy that I want to come with me,” Doherty said. “It was a no brainer when I got this job that he was at the press conference.”
“When you are Matt Doherty and you are at Kansas, you have a lot of friendships with a lot of people,” Wojcik said. “I was fortunate. He called me before he got the job. He had me and Lael here the day he got the job. I feel very very blessed.”
Little did Wojcik know that he would be reunited with a former Navy coach at Notre Dame. A couple months after Wojcik and Doherty started, the final assistant coach was hired, Fred Quartlebaum. Wojcik and Quartlebaum worked together at the Academy for four years, 1992-96.
“We have always said that it would be great if we could work together again and here we are together again now,” Quartlebaum said.
The tandem are teaming up with Doherty and fellow assistant Bob MacKinnon to help turn around the ailing Notre Dame program.