Letters to the Sports Editor
I am writing this letter in defense of Doug Wojcik, recently dismissed Head Basketball Coach at The College of Charleston.
I have known Doug for a period of thirty years as player, rising assistant coach and eventually successful head coach at two major institutions. During that time Coach Woj never wavered upon principle, always doing it the right way and not cutting corners to get to the so called, Promised Land.
Doug was an intense competitor during his scholastic days at Wheeling Central. His coach, the late Skip Prosser, served him the supreme compliment by calling him the “ultimate warrior.”
Indeed, he was.
Our pre-season scrimmages (Whg. Central and Bishop Donahue) were marked by intensity, hard play, and a competitive nature sometimes lacking in many sporting events. Without question, Doug was the consummate leader of that Central team that eventually emerged as 1982 WV AA State Champs in boys’ hoops.
Doug was only recruited locally by Bethany College, and so opted to honor his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Still desiring to play, he walked on and eventually made the men’s team; a fete in itself. Through his own persistence, competitive desire, work ethic, and an uncanny ability to play within himself; Doug eventually became a starter on the Naval Academy. With the major help of David Robinson and Doug led that team to a sweet 16 berth and capturing national attention. Doug taught us all dreams can become achievements with a selfless work ethic.
Those attributes and coming from a Skip Prosser molding maqde him an excellent candidate to coach. Coach Wojcik had many stops on his way to becoming head coach at The University of Tulsa. His stops at Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Michigan State gave him a background of readiness. At Tulsa, he remains the all-time leader in wins; his record at the College of Charleston is commendable and well above the .500 level.
The positives that I would like to mention about Doug Wojcik include the following:
1. He never forgot where he came from consistently helping people with game tickets whenever possible.
2. Providing coaching help to Ohio Valley coaches upon request and without reservation.
3. Providing a fair and caring atmosphere wherever he coached.
4. Leading by example by demonstrating his own competitive intensity as he made a Division I roster as a walk-on
and that team eventually gained national recognition.
5. Successfully coaching at both the level of assistant coach and eventual Head Coach at both Tulsa and The College of Charleston.
6. Remaining loyal to his parents, friends, fans and the entire Ohio Valley.
7. Gaining the respect of so many by his intense desire to put the TEAM in front of himself on all levels. His accomplishments did not come from accident. They reflect someone who chose to separate himself from the ordinary.
I consider myself fortunate to know him, to have had a chance to coach him, and now to justify that he is a positive influence to today’s youth.
Coaching is a tough task, and it is unfortunate that Doug is being “villified” as being overly-intense. He was working to correct any mistake that may have surfaced. Perhaps that desire to excel and make everyone better is something we should evaluate as a trait and not a negative.
My point is that he should be recognized as a winner by his track record. His qualities were nurtured by his great upbringing from parents who taught right from wrong. Doug Wojcik is certainly one of those guys who played by the rules; one of the good guys who cared about his players more than he is being credited for. People may make errors, he was willing to use the eraser on the end of his pencil to correct any he may have made.
Former Head Basketball Coach Bishop Donahue High School and Shadyside High School
The Shadyside High School Volleyball parents would like to thank all those that helped make our quarter auction such a wonderful event. A special thanks to Christin Robinson and Missy Davis for their efforts in organizing the function. A shout out goes to the vendors who gave up a Saturday afternoon to take part in the auction and to the parents and players who donated their time and energy to make sure the auction ran smoothly. We would like to thank Pastor Joel for all of his help and making us feel so welcome. Finally, a huge thank-you to the businesses and individuals who donated door prizes, auction items and food. We would also like to thank those that attended. As we enter our third year since startup, we are grateful for all of the support given our LT Volleyball program. Join us in our newly renovated gym on Lincoln Ave. In Tigertown and cheer on the Lady Tigers!