Marquette University has relieved men's basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski of his duties after seven seasons, University Vice President and Director of Athletics Bill Scholl announced Friday.
“After a thorough evaluation of our program over the last week, which included multiple conversations with Steve, I concluded that now is the right time for a new leader of our storied program,” said Scholl.
“I’m confident that our history of success and our commitment to developing young men who are leaders on and off the court will attract the highest caliber of coaching talent. I want to thank Steve for his dedication to our student-athletes, and for how he represented our men’s basketball program and the university. We wish Steve, Lindsay, Jack and Charlie nothing but the best in the future.”
According to a release from the university, Wojciechowski went 128-95 (.574) in seven seasons as head coach at Marquette, including two NCAA tournament appearances, with a BIG EAST Conference record of 59-68 (.465). The Golden Eagles went 13-14 this season.
The university says it will begin a national search for its next head basketball coach immediately.
Scholl said he had multiple meetings with Steve Wojciechowski before making the decision to fire his head coach.
"Sometimes you gotta make the hard decision. And that's what we did," said Scholl.
"And Steve relentlessly brought in really good people," Scholl says. "He did it the right way. You know, I never went to bed at night worried about what might be going on in our program that shouldn't be going on in our program. It just was a non-factor for us."
Wojciechowski came with high expectations, learning under Mike Krzyzewski as a player and coach at Duke. But after seven seasons, the up and down play never produced consistent results.
"I think the preference is a proven head coach," Scholl says. "I do think a head coach brings to the table, I mean they hit the ground running."
Before Wojo's tenure, Buzz Williams made the tournament in 5 of his 6 seasons, including an Elite Eight and two Sweet 16's. Tom Crean made a Final Four. The Golden Eagles want to soar like that again.
"We're all playing for championships. Or at least I believe Marquette is and we want to," Scholl says. "And we have a great history in the tournament and getting to the tournament more frequently is an important measurable for us. So it's absolutely a critical metric."
Wojciechowski issued the following statement Friday afternoon:
"I know this isn't the ending any of us hoped for back in 2014 but it has been my honor to serve as your coach for these past seven years. Marquette is a truly special place and I am going to miss it."
"To all the members of my coaching staff, as well as our behind-the-scenes support staff who worked hard every day to ensure Marquette is and would remain a first-class program, I cannot thank you enough. And especially to all of the players who have worn the Marquette uniform over these past seven seasons, I love you and will never forget the work you put in and the sacrifices you made to represent the Marquette program with character and class every day."
"Days like today are unfortunately part of this profession but I leave Marquette proud of what we achieved and with a lifetime of unforgettable memories. Marquette has some of the most passionate fans you will find in college basketball, and to all of those who had encouraging words over these past seven years -- and even some of those who didn't -- I want you to know that I admire and respect your passion. I wish the entire Marquette community nothing but the best, and thank you from the bottom of my heart."