Even as the Marquette men's basketball program was perceived to have underachieved in the NCAA Tournament this year and lost two of its top players, the university is committing itself to its head coach.
Marquette University says it has signed a new five-year contract with head coach Steve Wojciechowski, effective through the 2023-24 season.
“We are excited about the direction of our program and the progress it has made, both on and off the court, during Steve’s tenure,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Bill Scholl said in a statement.
“If you look at where the program was when he took over, it’s easy to see we are on the right path in terms of competitive success and what our players are accomplishing in the classroom and contributing in the community."
The news comes as word breaks of a transfer coming to Marquette.
Breaking #mubb news: Marquette has landed 7-foot Utah grad transfer Jayce Johnson, according to a source. He averaged 7.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season for the Utes. Eligible immediately.— Ben Steele (@BenSteeleMJS) May 7, 2019
For the second time in three years, Marquette made the NCAA Tournament. However, after being ranked as high as eighth in the country during the regular season, Marquette dropped from the top 25 and failed to win a tournament game.
Yet Marquette finished second in the regular season in the Big East last year, and only recent Elite Eight participants Xavier and Villanova - a two-time NCAA champion in the last four years - have outpaced Marquette in regular season conference wins.
“On behalf of our entire team, we are extremely grateful for the continued support of our program from Bill Scholl, Dr. Lovell and the Board of Trustees,” Wojciechowski said in the statement.
“We have made significant progress over the last five years building a culture reflective of the University’s values and mission. There is still work to be done and our passionate, dedicated and deserving fans can be assured that our staff and players are working extremely hard on a daily basis to make sure their program is considered among the nation’s elite on a consistent basis,”
Marquette lost two of its starters to transfers in brothers Sam and Joey Hauser in a controversial move in recent weeks; yet second-team All-American Markus Howard said he would be staying at MU after considering the NBA Draft.
"The basketball program at Marquette is absolutely trending in the right direction, particularly evident the last three seasons as one of the top teams in the BIG EAST, and we are confident that will continue as we begin a new five-year commitment to Steve.”
Wojciechowski is the only coach in Marquette history in the NCAA Tournament era to have lasted five years without winning a game in that tournament.