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Wojcik Era Ends at Tulsa
March 23, 2012By VYPE Oklahoma of VYPE University Oklahoma
By Lynn Jacobsen
TU’s “serious challenges” in terms of declining attendance and revenue within the men’s basketball program prompted the University of Tulsa to part ways with men’s head basketball coach Doug Wojcik, athletic director Ross Parmley said in a press conference Sunday afternoon.
“Since 2005, we have seen a 35 percent decrease in season ticket sale, a 43 percent decrease in revenue and rapidly growing apathy in our fan base,” Parmley said. “Basketball is expected to be a revenue-producing sport and a marquee sport at the University of Tulsa. A change in leadership was necessary.”
Parmley met with Wojcik early Sunday afternoon and informed him of the decision.
“He did not agree with the decision,” Parmley said. “But he handled it in a first-class, very professional way which I knew with Doug I would get. He’s a first-class person, a good individual.”
Parmley said he waited to see if “good things would happen” at the end of the year, but when that didn’t happen the decision was made to replace Wojcik.
“We evaluate every program at the end of the year. I was waiting for something good to happen at the end of the year and it didn’t,” he said. “It felt like it was decision we had to do, had to make.”
Parmley said he would not address a buyout of Wojcik’s contract.
“Those are personal issues and they will be between Doug and the university,” he said.
TU players Jordan Clarkson and Scottie Haralson said they were saddened by the news.
“It’s definitely tough, a sad day,” Clarkson said of the news. “We have to look forward, keep our heads up.
Haralson said he was “shocked” at the news.
“I’m kind of speechless,” he said. “He’s a great guy.”
Clarkson expressed interest more in making the right selection rather than making a hasty decision on a coach.
“Not too quick,” he said. “Find us the right guy. No need to rush.”
Asked if the nine-year absence from the NCAA Tournament had any effect on the declining enrollment, Parmley said, ““That’s what we hear. Our decision was based on the economic challenges we faced but our fans have spoken loudly over the last 5-7 years with the growing apathy, the rapid decline in revenue and season tickets.”
The Tulsa AD said a nationwide search would begin immediately and would include a search firm and a small committee of TU constituents.
“We will look for a coach who will help us better our product and reach our fan base without compromising our values or the foundation that has been built.”
At 140-92, Wojcik finishes as the school’s career leader in victories. He guided the Golden Hurricane to the CBI championship in 2008 and to the NIT in 2009 and 2010.