Former Cougar great weighs in on coach abuse saga
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - It's been nearly a month of questions and few answers in the College of Charleston head coaching limbo.
The common thought for many people watching the situation intently is that it's difficult - at best - for Doug Wojcik to come back without the players and athletic department backing him.
The other common though is that Cougar legend Anthony Johnson is the perfect person to replace Wojcik. Johnson just happens to be in Charleston, hosting the 17th annual Hooping with AJ basketball camp at the College.
Home is where the heart is for Johnson, and home is definitely on the College of Charleston campus. But these days, home is a bit of a heartache.
"It is disappointing in a sense that it's a program that I've been a part of since I'm 10 years old. That is 30 years now," he said. "Any bad publicity paints the program in a bad light and you never want that in your home program, it's difficult for all parties involved. Hopefully they can find some resolution soon and get CofC basketball going back in right direction and where it wants to be."
In one sense, Johnson is where he wants to be now. He's in the game of basketball as a third-year scout for the New Orleans Pelicans, but there's always a next step.
With NBA assistant coaching jobs popping up and his name attached to several searches makes Johnson - specifically those initials - an even more popular name among CofC boosters as a potential replacement for Wojcik - if it's needed.
"I am blessed and with that being said to have my name thrown around as a head coaching candidate makes me feel good from the fact that people think that highly of me. I can't take that lightly -- running a college program -- but to have my name associated with it makes me feel good in a sense that I'm doing things the right way," Johnson said.
Ironically, Wojcik beat out Johnson for the College of Charleston job two years ago. Through that process though, Johnson did his own research into what it takes to run a college programs.
He spent a lot of time looking at recruiting, one thing in the game of basketball he hasn't done.
"From my resources throughout the East Coast and nationwide, they assured me I could handle the task. So with that being said, people that I trust let me know that I could hit home runs rather than singles and doubles. So with that affirmation I feel pretty good about if I had to do it, and it's a task that needs to be done, I could be successful with it," he said.
His knowledge, experience, maturity, and expertise has kept his career going nearly two decades. But he's the first to say his job is always evolving.
"I think with the newest trend of guys coaching without experience in NBA is once practice is over, you're done. With the college game, more recruiting and being on the road, more making sure guys are staying on top of academics, as well as growing as individuals. You can't take that lightly, one of those things is the difference. Once you leave locker room and practice, you are head coach and coaching staff. It's over. In college, the coaching staff has to stay on guys to make sure they are growing, becoming better people," he said.
For now though, his only concern is Hooping with AJ.
"It makes me feel on the older side but to hang out with children of Charleston, my home community is a week I look forward to. We have a really good time sharing our experiences with the game of basketball," Johnson said.
Who knows if he will be doing much more than that on his old campus in the future.