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NCAA Basketball: Pepperdine at San Jose State (USATSI)
Dave Wojcik (WOE-jick) enters his fourth season as San José State University’s head men’s basketball coach in 2016-17. He joined the Spartans in March of 2013 after six conference championships and 11 postseason appearances as an assistant coach.
The 2015-16 season, Wojcik’s third at SJSU, was a turning point for the program. The team achieved its highest production in points, rebounds, blocks and steals since Wojcik’s arrival. The squad’s 449 assists were third-most in a single season, and the highest total since 1984-85.
Production on offense jumped up 16.8 points per game from the year before, leading to a 6.5-game turnaround which ranked 48th in the nation. The Spartans defeated three teams which won 20 or more games and reached the NCAA Tournament the previous season. One of the three was a signature 68-63 win on Senior Night against Boise State, where Wojcik was an assistant for three years before becoming a Spartan.
Fueling the surge was a group of four true freshmen that ended the season accounting for 43.4 percent of the team’s points – ranking second only to Kentucky among Division I teams. Under Wojcik’s guidance, forward Brandon Clarke became the first freshman at SJSU and in the Mountain West to win the Sixth Man of the Year award. The balanced recruiting class also featured the top two freshmen shooters from beyond the arc, Cody Schwartz and Ryan Welage.
San José State didn’t only see a production increase on the court in 2015-16. Wojcik’s emphasis on academic success has helped the team raise its grade point average one full point in the last year. The Spartans earned a pair of Academic All-Mountain West awards, and Jalen James was named an Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar.
Prior to accepting the head coaching position at San José State, Wojcik spent three seasons (2011-13) as the associate head coach at Boise State under head coach Leon Rice. The 2013 Broncos received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and recorded a second 20-win season in three years and the fourth-most wins during the regular season in school history.
In three seasons at Boise State, the team moved from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) to the Mountain West. In 2011, the Broncos finished second in the WAC, played in the conference tournament championship game and reached the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational. In 2013, Boise State's second season in the Mountain West, the Broncos finished tied for fourth with San Diego State.
Wojcik has an extensive resume as an assistant coach at building successful basketball programs. He started his coaching career in 1991-92 under Lefty Driesell at James Madison University. Coach Driesell amassed 786 wins over his coaching career and was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. Wojcik then was hired the next season as an assistant at West Liberty State College.
A graduate of Loyola University in Maryland, Wojcik returned to his alma mater in 1993 as an assistant to the former Wake Forest head coach, the late Skip Prosser. Prior to their arrival in Baltimore, Loyola was 2-25. That next season, Wojcik helped coach the Greyhounds to one of the top-15 turnarounds in NCAA Division I history at the time, the 1994 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament title and Loyola's first NCAA Tournament appearance in its 105-year men's basketball history.
After the success at Loyola, Wojcik followed Prosser to Xavier in 1994, where he spent three seasons as an assistant. The team reached the NCAA Tournament twice, won two regular season conference championships and 59 games in two seasons. He coached James Posey, a 1999 first-round selection of the Denver Nuggets (No. 18 overall).
He returned to his alma mater in 1997 as the top assistant to current ESPN analyst Dino Gaudio. After three seasons, Wojcik took over as athletics director at Wheeling Central Catholic High School in Wheeling, W.V. He also coached the boys' basketball team to back-to-back state titles in 2002 and 2003.
Returning to the college ranks, Wojcik coached at the U.S. Naval Academy (2004) and Dayton (2005) before spending the next four seasons (2006-09) as the associate head coach at the University of Tulsa, working on the staff of his brother Doug Wojcik. The Golden Hurricane recorded an 81-53 overall record during that time, including three consecutive 20-win seasons. The team played in back-to-back Conference USA Tournament title games, won the inaugural College Basketball Invitational championship in 2008 and reached the second round of the 2009 NIT.
Wojcik spent the 2009-10 season at Wake Forest University under Gaudio. There, he coached Ishmael Smith, a current member of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Al-Farouq Aminu, the eighth-overall selection of the 2010 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers who is currently with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Wojcik also was successful as a collegiate player at Loyola in Baltimore, Md. He is the only player in school history to record a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against St. Francis (Pa.) in 1989.
Wojcik earned his bachelor's degree in education from Loyola in 1991. He and his wife, Heather, have one son, Jake. WOJCIK AS AN ASSISTANT
NBA PLAYERS COACHED BY DAVE WOJCIK
Al-Farouq Aminu, F - Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers
Ishmael Smith, G - Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets
Brian Roberts, G - Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans
Michael Hawkins, G - Boston Celtics, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers
Ben Uzoh, G - Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets
Torraye Braggs, F - Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets
Jerome Jordan, C - New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks
Larry Sykes, F - Boston Celtics
James Posey, F/G - Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets