An emotionally-charged Dave Wojcik shared his philosophy as the new San Jose State University men’s basketball coach. With his wife, Heather, and 13-year-old son Jake, the 44-year-old Wojcik described his coaching journey that started in 1992 as an assistant coach at James Madison University working for Lefty Driesell to accepting a five-year contract to lead the Spartans.
“This is why I am here. It just dawned on me when I walked in seeing all you people. I felt this was a special place. I felt that in my heart with every job I’ve ever taken. It felt right. With all you here, it reaffirms it for me,” said Wojcik in his opening remarks.
“I will do everything in my power to put this program on the map. I am so, so very excited. You have no idea. Gene (Bleymaier, San Jose State’s athletics director) is right. I have a lot of emotion. I have a lot of energy.
“It’s funny when we were going around the room in the interview. Everything came back – we need energy; we need excitement. I’m sitting there, chomping at the bit. ‘This is me here.”
Ray Silva, a former president of the Spartan Foundation who played basketball at San Jose State in early 1950’s said, “I’m really excited by his emotion; his passion for the game. With his background, he is prepared for this job. You can tell from listening to him, this is what he lives for. Gene Bleymaier (San Jose State University Athletics Director) and Dr. (Mo) Qayoumi (San Jose State University President) made a great hire.”
Tim La Kose, San Jose State women’s head basketball coach, sees similarities in he and Coach Wojcik’s styles.
“We both want to do things the right way; to bring a lot of energy and surround ourselves with great people, people who work hard. If you can do that it’s a recipe for success. Everything I have seen and heard today has been very impressive. He has a lot or passion and a lot of excitement for the job. I excited to work with him. It’s a good day to be a Spartan.”
School teacher Gayle Kludt, another past president of the Spartan Foundation, was happy to hear Coach Wojcik’s feelings about the complete student-athlete.
“I’m extremely pleased that his number-one priority is to recruit student-athletes who will perform in the classroom, as well as, on the court and that they will graduate. I also liked that he said he was going install an aggressive style of play both ends of the court. He is a very high energy individual and I am impressed with him.”
“The thing that struck me first was his passion,” guard D.J. Brown said. Brown has 43 starts in his first two seasons with the Spartans. “He was emotional up there. It was genuine and I like that from a coach. As a player you want a relationship with someone like that. I think we are going to have a great relationship and it’ll be a successful one, too. My game fits his aggressive style. The crowd enjoys seeing that style of play and I enjoy being an entertainer, so I think I will adapt to it easily.
Former San Jose State University Associated Students President Tony Robinson, a member of the search committee and past president of the Rebounders booster club, highlighted two things that impressed him most about Coach Wojcik.
“Coach is outstanding in a couple of departments. First is the energy level he’s going to bring to the position. That for me stood out among all the candidates. Secondly, his experience at Boise State is simpatico with San Jose State. He understands what the challenges are and is committed to being the best and bringing San Jose State basketball to a new level.”
Marty Selznick and Tom Colla, both long time supporters of San Jose State Athletics, are both excited to see what the future holds for Coach Wojcik and the Spartans basketball program.
“I’ve been watching Spartans basketball since 1962,” Colla said. “Over the last few years there just hasn’t been a lot of enthusiasm or energy in our program. From what I heard today, I think (Coach Wojcik) can bring that back.”
“In the press conference his passion certainly showed,” Selznick said. “He talked about his past, what inspired him and how he is going to translate that to the court and in the classroom. I couldn’t be more excited for him, his family and San Jose State. We are all looking forward to next season.”
In six months, the start of official practice begins for Dave Wojcik’s first season as San Jose State University’s men’s basketball head coach.