It's not exactly a secret that new Marquette men's basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski used to play for Duke. It's even less of a secret that Wojo spent the last 15 years as an assistant coach at Duke.
As a part of his "New Faces, New Places" series, CBS Sports' Gary Parrish was in Milwaukee recently to interview Wojciechowski as well as various other people around the Marquette athletic department. Parrish would have been derelict in his duty as a journalist if he didn't at least ask Wojciechowski and the other two Dukies on the MU staff, assistant coach Chris Carrawell and graduate assistant Tyler Thornton, about their former head coach, Mike Krzyzewski.
The questions centered around how long the 67 year old Hall of Famer will remain as the head coach in Durham. Coach K is already committed to coaching the Olympic men's basketball team in the summer of 2016, so it's expected that he'll coach at least until then. The responses that Parrish got from Carrawell, Thornton, and Wojciechowski are indicative that they think Krzyzewski will go flying past the summer of 2016 at Duke, with Carrawell implying that Coach K will be at Duke much longer than five more seasons, and Wojo saying that he just doesn't see the end in sight for his former boss.
But one thing that Wojo said stuck out to me.
"Coach is young and vibrant and current, so I can't see him retiring any time soon," Wojciechowski said. "I think he loves it, and his family is entrenched in the program, and they're going to be good year after year. … So I just don't see him retiring any time soon."
Emphasis mine, of course. So here's what we know:
- The better Marquette is under Steve Wojciechowski, the more he'll be recognized as the #1 candidate to take over at Duke when Coach K eventually does retire.
- As long as Duke keeps winning, Wojo doesn't see the end in sight for Coach K.
So, as the question at the top of the post says: Are we, as Marquette fans, finding ourselves cheering for Duke to win ACC title after ACC title now?
Marquette has never had a head coach so inexorably linked to another school before, much less tied to a basketball team with a legendary head coach. (Yes, you can make an argument about Tom Crean, Michigan State, and Tom Izzo, but Crean was there for Izzo's first four years and that's it.) It's a unique situation, to say the least, and I can't say that cheering for the monolith that is Duke men's basketball would come easy to anyone. But, as much as Wojo keeps saying things like "The equation for me is Marquette ... and making this place the best it can be," the questions about Coach K's replacement will linger until Krzyzewski finally does retire. Is it in our best interests to avoid that actual debate by cheering for the Blue Devils to continue their success under Krzyzewski as long as possible?