Post and Courier
April 1, 2012
Doug Wojcik, who was fired after six consecutive winning seasons at Tulsa, will be introduced as the new College of Charleston men’s basketball coach. A press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Wojcik will replace Bobby Cremins, who took a medical leave of absence Jan. 27. The Cougars started the season 10-2 but were 12-8 when Cremins stepped aside. Associate head coach Mark Byington guided the team to a 7-4 record the remainder of the season and was a finalist for the position.
Cremins officially announced his retirement March 19, but he will remain with the school in a relationship-building and fundraising capacity.
Attempts Saturday to reach Cremins and Byington were unsuccessful.
School president Dr. George Benson said in a news release announcing Wojcik’s hire that the former Tulsa coach stood out among a strong list of candidates.
“Doug has had success at every level throughout his career, as a player, an assistant and a head coach,” Benson said.
“More importantly, as a head coach, he has run a clean program, and has done so over many years at a university with an excellent academic reputation. Doug has been strongly recommended to us by some of the most successful coaches in college basketball. We believe Doug is an excellent fit for the College of Charleston.”
Wojcik had a 140-92 record in seven seasons at Tulsa and led the team to the National Invitation Tournament twice. The Golden Hurricane won the 2008 College Basketball Insider (CBI) tournament. Tulsa finished 17-14 last season and 10-6 in Conference USA. The school fired Wojcik and hired former Kansas star Danny Manning. Wojcik’s 140 victories are the most in Tulsa history, passing Clarence Iba (139) and Nolan Richardson (119).
In the College of Charleston news release, Wojcik called the job a “dream come true.”
“This is an exciting time for my family and me to be the head coach at the College of Charleston,” Wojcik said. “ It is a great job, in a great city with a great basketball history with Coach (John) Kresse and Coach (Bobby) Cremins as well as a great group of student-athletes coming back next season. My family and I look forward to being heavily involved with the college and Charleston community. I appreciate President Benson and athletics director Joe Hull for this wonderful opportunity to continue to build on Charleston’s rich basketball tradition.”
During his seven-year tenure at Tulsa, all 17 of his senior players graduated.
Wojcik attended the U.S. Naval Academy from 1983-86 and played point guard on teams with former NBA star David Robinson. He spent nine seasons as an assistant at Navy, one year at Notre Dame, three years at North Carolina and was at Michigan State for two seasons, the second year as associate head coach, before taking the Tulsa job. He replaced John Phillips, who was replaced after a 2-5 start in his third year. Phillips is now the radio voice of Tulsa.
“We are thrilled to have Doug Wojcik as our new head coach,” Hull said. “Doug is energetic, smart and passionate about the game of basketball and the young men who play it. Our goal is to have a championship program at the College and Doug shares that vision. We will work every day to bring the Southern Conference championship back to Charleston.”
March 31, 2012
Wojcik replaces the retiring Bobby Cremins, who was replaced by interim coach Mark Byington when Cremins had to take a leave of absence during the season after 11 games.
Wojcik will receive a five-year contract. A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday.
Wojcik was fired earlier this month after he led the Golden Hurricane to a 17-14 record, 10-6 in Conference USA.
Wojcik was the head coach at Tulsa for seven seasons and had a winning record in each year except his first. He won 20-plus games in four of the seven seasons and finished with a 140-92 record, 68-12 in Conference USA.
Wojcik led Tulsa to three postseason appearances, including two NIT berths, but never an NCAA tournament appearance.
Wojcik has coached at his alma mater Navy, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Michigan State.
Charleston finished the season with a 19-12 record, 10-8 in the Southern Conference.
Cremins coached Charleston for six seasons and led it to three postseason appearances, including the NIT quarterfinals. The Cougars never made the NCAA tournament under Cremins, who came out of retirement to replace Tom Herrion in 2006. Cremins retired at Georgia Tech in 2000.
March 31, 2012
Former Tulsa basketball coach Doug Wojcik will be the next coach at the College of Charleston.
Wojcik spent the last seven seasons at TU. He is the school’s all-time leader for coaching wins with 140.
“This is an exciting time for my family and me to be the head coach at the College of Charleston,” Wojcik said in a statement. “It is a dream come true. It is a great job, in a great city with a great basketball history with Coach (John) Kresse and Coach (Bobby) Cremins as well as a great group of student-athletes coming back next season.”
Wojcik, 47, will take over a program that was led by Cremins, who missed C of C’s final 11 games and retired due to health reasons.
College of Charleston president George Benson said Wojcik stood out among quality candidates.
“More importantly, as a head coach, he has run a clean program, and has done so over many years at a university with an excellent academic reputation,” Benson said. “Doug has been strongly recommended to us by some of the most successful coaches in college basketball. We believe Doug is an excellent fit for the College of Charleston.”
The Golden Hurricane played in the Charleston Classic this past season.
College of Charleston, a member of the Southern Conference, finished 19-12 this past season. The program has averaged 23.5 victories per season.
C of C last played in the NCAA Tournament in 1999, where it lost a first-round game against Tulsa.
Post and Courier
March 30, 2012
College of Charleston baseball coach Monte Lee had high expectations for his pitching staff heading into the 2012 season. But what the pitchers have accomplished on the way to a 20-6 start has exceeded those expectations.
The Cougars' team ERA is a sparkling 2.21, and weekend starters Christian Powell (1.34 ERA), Matt Pegler (1.69 ERA) and Josh Renfro (2.80 ERA) are a combined 13-2. The College of Charleston has won nine straight conference games and leads the Southern Conference with a 10-2 record.
Pegler, who has a 5-0 record, traces the success back to the fall.
“This was the first year we had morning workouts and we were a lot more serious about working out then. I think it shows,” Pegler said.
Lee said pitching has been a constant for the Cougars, regardless of opponent.
“We've been throwing it about as good as I could have expected,” he said. “If we pitch and play good, solid infield defense over the second half of the year, I think we're going to be in good shape.”
He added that his team has stayed focused from one game to the next and has not been guilty of looking ahead.
This weekend's series at Georgia Southern is big for both teams, who were picked to finish 1-2 in the preseason. The Cougars were picked to finish first in the coaches' poll, while the Eagles were picked to win the league by the media.
But things haven't gone well for Georgia Southern, which is 12-14 overall and 3-6 in the league. The Eagles are coming off a split with Georgia Tech.
“It's going to be a tough test facing one of the better offenses in the league. It will be fun to watch and see how our pitching staff will do against their offense,” Powell said.
April is shaping up to be a tough month for Charleston. After the Georgia Southern series, the Cougars host South Carolina on Wednesday, then travel to Appalachian State, which also has only two losses and is tied for second in the conference with Samford at 7-2.
But the Cougars have played well on the road this season, going 8-2 in games away from Patriots Point.
“Georgia Southern is one of the better programs in our conference and they're going to be trying to get back in the mix this weekend,” Lee said. “If we throw the ball well, play good defense and don't give the opposition any free runs, we have a chance to be in every ballgame.”
Post and Courier
March 29, 2012
MOUNT PLEASANT — College of Charleston tied a school record with 12 runs in the first inning and went on to rout Jacksonville, 16-3, for its fifth straight win Wednesday night at Patriots Point.
In the first inning, which lasted nearly 45 minutes, the Cougars (20-6) batted around twice, racking up 10 hits, two walks and two hit batsmen to put up 12 runs as every batter reached base at least once.
Marty Gantt’s two-run double to extend his hitting streak to 10 games was the only extra-base hit of the inning against Jacksonville (11-15).
The Cougars’ Rob Harding finished with four RBIs including a two-run home run in the fifth, while Bradley Goodson hit a solo home run in the fourth inning. Ryan Welke, Daniel Aldrich, Goodson, Gantt and Harding all had multiple RBIs.
College of Charleston finished with 16 hits and tied the previous season high of 16 runs set over the weekend against Davidson. The Cougars have now reached double digits in runs five times this season.
Starter Griffin Jones pitched four innings and allowed two runs on six hits in a no-decision. Derrick Smith (1-0) earned his first win of his career by pitching the fifth inning and giving up an unearned run.
Post and Courier
March 28, 2012
Natasha Adair made a favorable impression on her new College of Charleston basketball team in her initial meeting with the players.
“She’s very youthful, has a lot of energy and is very vibrant,” junior forward Cathryn Hardy said Tuesday after Adair was introduced at TD Arena as College of Charleston’s new coach. “I think we’ll get along and do well, but we expect to be driven. She has what it takes to win. She is expecting a lot from us, and we’re equally expecting a lot from her.”
Sophomore guard Alyssa Frye said she was impressed by Adair’s energy.
“We will do it together as a family. We’ll pull together and have each other’s backs,” Frye said.
Adair, 39, comes to the College of Charleston from Wake Forest, where she served the past eight years as an assistant, including the last five as associate head coach. Wake Forest played in four Women’s NITs during her stint. Adair received a five-year contract worth $125,000 annually.
She and her husband have two children. She said her family will remain in Winston-Salem, N.C., until the school year ends and then move to Charleston. Her husband owns two restaurants in Winston-Salem, so he’ll be traveling back and forth.
In addition to her husband and children, her parents and brother traveled to Charleston for Tuesday’s announcement. Also on hand was Wake Forest head coach Mike Petersen.
“Natasha is an outstanding coach and even better person,” Petersen said. “She did a phenomenal job for us at Wake Forest, and I have no question that she will do great things at the College of Charleston.”
Adair replaces Nancy Wilson, who stepped down after 30 years of coaching, including 17 at the College of Charleston. Adair said she had spoken with Wilson and promised to lean on her.
“But as we do that, it is my program and I will put my stamp on it,” she said.
Adair called her new job a dream come true.
“After meeting with my girls and watching their excitement and passion for wanting to win, it just makes me want to hit the ground running right now for them,” said Adair, who played at South Florida and worked as an assistant for six years at Georgetown prior to working at Wake Forest.
“Coach A made a great impression on everyone she met here at the College of Charleston,” director of athletics Joe Hull said.
Adair said she was first contacted by Hull prior to the ACC tournament, and after Wake Forest was eliminated, she came for an interview and fell in love with the school and its facilities.
Adair said she has coaches in mind to fill out her staff.
“Joe and I will meet and talk about each candidate and what they can bring to the program,” Adair said.
Adair has four scholarships open, but said she did not know how many players she would be bringing in. The most important need, she said, was a combo guard.
“I watched a lot of film before taking this job. We have a good inside game,” Adair said. “I want to get the kids on the court and put them through workout drills to get a better idea.”
She said recruiting players to Charleston should not be a problem.
“I think once they get on campus and get to meet people, they will see what attracted me here,” Adair said. “This community and college offers a lot. Getting them here will be half the battle, but keeping them here will be easy.”