Feb. 24, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In order to continue this season’s success, the men’s basketball program must attract the country’s basketball elite. Today, the Insider looks at assistant coach Doug Wojcik’s role in recruiting in the third part of the series.
Last spring, Wojcik found himself knee deep in office duties while Doherty headed out on the road to attract some last minute signees. Now, Wojcik finds himself taking over the recruiting responsibilities, which is no easy task.
Many praise Doherty for his recruiting ability as seen by the top notch recruits he inked for Kansas. Now Wojcik along with fellow assistant coach Fred Quartlebaum are the two coaches primarily in charge of recruiting for Notre Dame.
“I give him a lot of responsibility,” Doherty said. “He tells me where to go for recruiting. What you have to do as a head coach is delegate but I still am very involved. I am very lucky to have the staff that I do and Doug was the first one that I hired.”
Recruiting is a major concern for the Notre Dame program. Attracting the best and brightest of the basketball world is not so easy for a program that has not made an appearance in the NCAA tournament since the 1989-90 season but Wojcik is use to it.
“My primary and most important duty is recruiting,” Wojcik said. “We are only as good as our players for the most part. Recruiting is the biggest part of my job. That is coordinating all 50 states and working with Fred [Quartlebaum] and getting coach Bob McKinnon and David Cason involved.”
Wojcik got his first experience in recruiting at the Naval Academy where he signed some strong blue-chippers.
“Being at the Naval Academy a lot of it was on my shoulders,” Wojcik said. “Here, it is a different deal because a lot of different people want to know what is going on. It is a bigger level. It is the Big East. It is Notre Dame. In the end, Coach calls the shots. I don’t feel the pressure. This is what I have always wanted. To me it is more of an opportunity rather than a pressure situation.”
He spent nine years trying to attract players that had the athletic skills, the academic foundation and the right attitude for military life at the Academy. In fact, Wojcik made a name for himself for attracting quality players on such a tight recruiting budget.
His challenge at Notre Dame is somewhat similar in trying to find the top student-athletes. Although, he does have a positive working in his favor which is the somewhat unexpected turnaround, which the program has seen.
“We are here at Notre Dame at a great time,” Wojcik said. “We couldn’t ask for a better time to be here where the program is and where it is headed. The fact that Troy’s here helps us. You beat Ohio State and UConn, you can’t pay for that type of advertisement. That will help in recruiting.”