Marquette’s president-elect Michael Lovell announced the hire of Steve Wojciechowski, associate head coach at Duke University, as the 17th head coach of the men’s basketball team during a press conference Tuesday, April 1.Steve Wojciechowski stands with his wife, Lindsay, and sons, Charlie, left, and Jack, at the press conference Tuesday, April 1, in Marquette University’s Al McGuire Center. (Catholic Herald photo by Tracy Rusch)

“Wow, it’s hard to believe just last week, six days ago, I was honored by being announced the 24th president of Marquette University and I’m sure at that time the first question I got was, ‘How soon do we get a new basketball coach?’” he said as laughter erupted in the university’s Al McGuire Center.

With the guidance of Jesuit Fr. Robert J. Wild, interim president, and Bill Cords, interim vice president and athletic director, Lovell said they moved quickly to find the best person for the job – someone with integrity, experience and an appreciation for academic excellence.

“He’s a winner on the court, and he has all the values that we expect at Marquette University,” Lovell said of Wojciechowski, whose wife Lindsay and boys, Jack and Charlie, were in attendance.

Lovell said Wojciechowski’s values aligned with Marquette’s on many levels.

“First and foremost, Steve represents all that we aspire to be at Marquette University,” Lovell said of Wojciechowski, a graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Baltimore, who has worked with superior athletes including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Marquette alumnus  Dwyane Wade. “He’s a winner in every aspect of his life. He’s the ultimate competitor who knows how to win, and I have to tell you, I’m pretty competitive, too – and I’m a little upset that his approval rating right now is about 2 percent more than mine on the online poll.

“And he has a level of charisma that one of his former players described as a fireball of energy,” he said, noting that Wojciechowski was the only top candidate in the search who wasn’t a head coach.

Wojciechowski (pronounced woe-ju-HOW-skee), 37, said he is honored and humbled to be at a university he admired from a distance for a long time.

“The game of basketball has been incredibly good to me,” he said. “It’s taken me places that are beyond belief, but today I stand here, and this is the most proud day in my basketball life being with you all, celebrating this day as the new men’s head basketball coach at Marquette University.”

The coach said he hopes to do what a role model, Duke’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski, did – helped him understand how fun, incredible, and life-changing the game of basketball is when used the right way.

“I want our guys and our players to try to win every day,” Wojciechowski said. “I want to win every day, and I want to win every day as basketball players. I want to win every day as students and I want to win every day, most importantly, as people, and I think we can all get behind that.”