July 12, 2010

Harvard Hires Former Player, Assistant Wojcik

from staff reports

Chris Wojcik, a former two-sport standout at Harvard, is back in Cambridge as the Crimson's head men's lacrosse coach.

Coyne: Wojcik Earns Job the Right Way

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The coaching carousel that has consumed college men's lacrosse this summer come to a stop.

Chris Wojcik, a former Harvard player and assistant coach, has been hired to replace John Tillman as the Crimson's head coach, the university announced Monday.

Wojcik, an All-American in lacrosse and All-Ivy League selection in both lacrosse and soccer with the Crimson, returns to Cambridge after a two-year stint as the top assistant coach at Penn. In addition to serving as offensive coordinator with the Quakers, Wojcik worked as the team's recruiting coordinator and was able to recruit an outstanding class that includes two Under Armour All-Americans to Penn next season.

"We are extremely delighted to welcome Chris as our new head men's lacrosse coach," said Harvard athletic director Bob Scalise. "Chris is a tremendous recruiter, a superb offensive strategist and his familiarity with the Ivy League will help our program succeed, both on a regional and a national level. As a Harvard alumnus and former captain of our program, Chris is dedicated to continue building a winning tradition here in Cambridge."

Harvard went 6-6 in 2010, including upset wins over UMass and Princeton, but was unable to advance to the Ivy League tournament. Tillman was hired at Maryland to replace longtime Terps coach Dave Cottle, who then interviewed for and withdrew from the Harvard position. Other reported candidates were Notre Dame assistant Gerry Byrne, Dartmouth's Andy Towers and Brown's Lars Tiffany.

"I am ecstatic to return to Harvard, an institution that stands for excellence and opportunity," Wojcik said. "I want to thank Bob Scalise and the search committee for their confidence in me and my vision for Harvard lacrosse. I am grateful for their commitment and support of the program, and I eagerly await the opportunity to coach and mentor the program's talented players. To the Harvard players and their families, the lacrosse alumni, and the entire Harvard community, thank you for your support and I will always give my best to Harvard and the lacrosse program."

During the 2010 season, Wojcik helped Penn earn five All-Ivy League selections, the most for the program since 2004. The Quakers averaged 10.2 goals per game, the highest average at Penn in 10 years, and the team's extra-man offense ranked first in the Ivy League and third in the nation at 53 percent.

Prior to his stint at Penn, Wojcik was the offensive coordinator at Bowdoin College in 2008, aiding in the Polar Bears' run to their first NCAA tournament appearance, finishing the season ranked No. 20 nationally and 12-7 overall. Bowdoin's offense ranked first in the New England Small College Athletic Conference that spring.

Previously, he spent five seasons as an assistant coach in Cambridge under former head coach Scott Anderson. As the program's offensive coordinator in 2006, Wojcik oversaw an offense that helped the Crimson earn its first NCAA Championship berth since 1996. Wojcik also spent three years as the team's recruiting coordinator from 2005-07 and was the offensive coordinator from 2006-07.

As a two-sport standout with the Crimson, Wojcik earned lacrosse All-America honors in 1996, captaining Harvard to the NCAA tournament. He led the Crimson to a 15-12 victory against Hofstra in the first round of the tournament before the team fell to Virginia in the national quarterfinals. He completed his career with 134 career points on 89 goals and 45 assists, placing him first among midfielders and 15th overall all-time on the program's scoring list.

In addition to his honors on the lacrosse field, Wojcik served as captain of the Harvard soccer team, earning two All-Ivy League honors and leading the team to an Ivy League title and an NCAA tournament appearance in the fall of 1994. Prior to graduation, Wojcik was named the winner of Harvard's Bingham Award, presented to the top male student-athlete in the senior class.

In 2008, Wojcik was a featured speaker at the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association convention in 2008 for developing offensive personnel and in 2009 for shooting. A member of the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Westfield (N.J.) High School Athletics Hall of Fame, Wojcik graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in economics. He also earned a master's of education in secondary education/social studies from Boston College in 2007.


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