Post and Courier
April 7, 2012
MOUNT PLEASANT — The College of Charleston men’s tennis team remained undefeated in Southern Conference play with a 6-1 victory over Furman on Friday at the C of C Tennis Center at Patriots Point.
The Cougars (12-3, 6-0 SoCon) took control of the match early by claiming the doubles point over the visiting Paladins (8-13, 5-3 SoCon).
The College of Charleston women’s team (18-4, 7-0) held off Elon in a 4-3 road thriller.
With the match tied at three-all, freshman Samantha Maddox won her second-set tiebreaker, 8-6, to force the match into a deciding third set.
The College of Charleston extended its winning streak to eight games after a pair of 4-0 victories over Furman in a Southern Conference doubleheader at Patriots Point.
Stephanie Saylors and Hope Klicker both threw complete- game shutouts for the Cougars (25-13, 10-4). Lizzy Vaughn had three hits and two RBIs.
Post and Courier
April 5, 2012
College of Charleston men’s basketball coach Doug Wojcik spoke enthusiastically about his new team’s potential.
His goal, he said, is to have the Cougars recognized in the same breath with VCU, Gonzaga, Creighton and Butler, mid-major schools that have made a national splash in recent years.
Wojcik, 47, was introduced Wednesday as the school’s new head coach, replacing Bobby Cremins, who officially announced his retirement on March 19 after taking a medical leave of absence for exhaustion on Jan. 27.
Wojcik met with the returning players Tuesday night, then watched them work out Wednesday prior to his news conference at TD Arena.
“Andrew (Lawrence) is a very good player. Adjehi (Baru) is a very good player. Trent (Wiedeman) is in a cast right now. I think Anthony (Stitt) has a chance to be a very special player. We have some things to build around,” Wojcik said.
Wojcik comes to Charleston after a seven-year stint at Tulsa, where he led the Golden Hurricane to a 140-92 record but was fired in March following a 17-14 season. The Tulsa athletic director said it was time for a change, citing declining season-ticket sales and revenues.
Charleston athletics director Joe Hull said that was a red flag, but glowing recommendations from a bevy of Hall of Fame coaches, and Wojcik’s record for not only wins and losses but also for graduation, negated that question. The school’s search committee consisted of Hull, school president Dr. George Benson, former Cougars coach John Kresse and Dan Shoemaker, vice president for collegiate development for ESPN Regional Television and the father of two College of Charleston students.
“Of course we looked at that and tried to understand what they were thinking,” said Hull, who also discussed Wojcik with former Tulsa AD Bubba Cunningham, who was hired by North Carolina last October.
Hull said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, where Wojcik was an assistant before going to Tulsa, offered his recommendation along with Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Kentucky’s John Calipari and Florida’s Billy Donovan.
Wojcik said he has not decided on a coaching staff, but added that interim coach Mark Byington has a spot if he wants it. Wojcik’s top assistant at Tulsa, Jeremy Ballard, took a job at VCU.
Byington, who along with Cremins and other members of the current coaching staff were in attendance, said he has some other opportunities.
“Being here for coach Wojcik, I know, would help my career. It’s a tough process right now and I have to figure it out,” Byington said. “I have to make a decision pretty quick and do what’s best for me and my family.”
The returning players said they still were getting to know Wojcik.
“He seems like a really good guy,” said Lawrence, who will be a senior next season. “He has a beautiful family and I welcome him to Charleston. He touched on some points we really need to work on. I hope to be part of a championship-winning team next year.”
Baru, a 6-9 rising sophomore, said he liked what he heard from the new coach. Stitt, also a rising sophomore, agreed.
“He seems pretty straightforward,” Stitt said. “Everybody seemed to get a good vibe from him when we met in the locker room (Tuesday) night.”
Asked if he was concerned about any players transferring, Wojcik said he expected most of the players to return.
“The quality of life here is really, really good. They have a lot of fun and are comfortable in their surroundings. You have a big-time schedule so you get the exposure you need,” Wojcik said.
Hull said the school has an agreement in principle with Wojcik, but there are still contract details, including total compensation, to work out.
April 5, 2012
CHARLESTON -- College of Charleston Coach Doug Wojcik said Wednesday his goal is to keep Cougar basketball on the national stage.
"The vision for me is that it's a national job," said Wojcik, who was introduced as the men's basketball coach following seven years at Tulsa where he was 140-92. "I feel very fortunate and I feel very privileged to uphold your history and your tradition."
Wojcik replaces Bobby Cremins who last month announced his retirement after he took a medical leave from coaching in January. Cremins' assistant Mark Byington coached in his absence and Cremins said he had every confidence in his young assistant.
But John Kresse, who during the 1990s took the Cougars to four NCAA tournaments and led them to two finishes in the final Top 25 poll, said that the three member search committee - of which he was a part of - went with Wojcik's experience.
"He brought us seven years of head coaching decision which was a factor with our committee's decision," Kresse said. "Mark was terrific candidate and he was one of the finalists but Doug's background and experience gave him the nod."
Kresse sat next to Cremins at the introduction of Wojcik who met with his new players Tuesday night. Cremins said he did not want to comment.
"They made that decision I don't think anyone is upset or anything like that. It is what it is but after the meeting last night everybody seemed fairly impressed," said Willis Hall, a redshirt junior on the team.
Wojcik said Charleston is among a group of smaller schools like Creighton and VCU that have made a name for themselves on the national stage.
"Winning the Southern Conference is certainly the first way to the NCAA tournament," he said. "To do that you have to win games, you have to schedule games you have to recruit good players. It takes a lot because you are competing with 30 schools for about five slots in terms of non-BCS schools getting into the NCAAs."
In addition to his head coaching experience at Tulsa, Wojcik has served as an assistant at such basketball powerhouses as Michigan State and North Carolina.
His wife, Lael, and two sons Paxson and Denham attended the introduction.
"Paxson, he studies everything and he looked at the schedule next year and he said 'Dad we got Louisville. We've got Louisville at home. If we win that game we can be an at large-team,"' Wojcik said.
Louisville made it to this year's Final Four.
Post and Courier
April 5, 2012
MOUNT PLEASANT — After a slow start, South Carolina caught fire in the middle stages of the game to roll to a 7-0 baseball victory over the College of Charleston on Wednesday at Patriots Point.
The 11th-ranked Gamecocks (22-8) got strong pitching performances from a trio of left-handers, limiting the Cougars (21-9) to only four hits while striking out a combined eight batters.
And South Carolina’s offense, led by shortstop Joey Pankake, tagged the Cougars for 13 hits, seven of which went for extra bases. Pankake went 3 for 5 with two doubles and a seventh-inning solo home run. Christian Walker, Brison Celek and Chase Vergason each had two hits for the Gamecocks.
“We really played a good game. Our guys pitched pretty well,” South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said. “We played one of our better games of the season. I know Monte (Cougars coach Monte Lee) is disappointed in his team striking out so much.”
South Carolina got the only run it needed in the first inning, and that was pretty much a gift from the Cougars. Charleston shortstop Bradley Goodson lost a high fly ball by Pankake and the ball fell between a trio of fielders, allowing Pankake to reach second. He eventually scored on an infield grounder by L.B. Dantzler.
Things were quiet until the fifth when South Carolina added a single run. The Gamecocks scored two more in the sixth, Pankake’s homer in the seventh and two more runs in the eighth.
“Adam Westmoreland (the Gamecocks starter) filled the strike zone up. (Tyler) Webb and (Nolan) Belcher pretty much did the same thing,” Lee said.
“I’m very frustrated with our offense and have been for about a week. We all know pitching and defense is important. But you have to score runs.”
Lee said the Cougars missed scoring opportunities early with the heart of the batting order at the plate, and “those players have to step up.”
“We have a better offense than we’ve been showing. I hope this weekend (an important Southern Conference series at league-leading Appalachian State) we can find a way to score more runs.”
Westmoreland picked up the victory for South Carolina, improving to 2-0. College of Charleston starter Ryan West (2-3) was charged with the loss.
The teams meet again April 17 in Columbia. South Carolina hosts Southeastern Conference opponent Tennessee in a three-game series this weekend.
Post and Courier
April 5, 2012
MOUNT PLEASANT — The College of Charleston softball team extended its winning streak to six games with a doubleheader sweep of North Carolina Central at Patriots Point on Wednesday.
The Cougars won both games in five innings via the run rule with victories of 13-2 and 10-2. Mackenzie Maples and Carly Corthell each combined for three hits and four RBIs.
Hope Klicker won the opener, while Jen Rosene won Game 2 against the Eagles (3-33).
The Cougars (23-13) next host Furman in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. Friday.
Charleston Southern lost a pitchers’ duel in Spartanburg, falling 1-0 to USC Upstate (29-6).
Jennifer Giles allowed one run in six innings, but allowed a third-inning run on a fielder’s choice.
The teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader, but the second game was called in the top of the first inning following a thunderstorm. CSU (20-17) is next at Liberty at 4 p.m. Friday.