Sandeep Chandok: If you didn’t already know, San Jose State men’s basketball is rolling this year.
At (14-12 7-8 MW), the Spartans are one win away from 15 on the season. The last time they won at least 15 games in a season was the 2010-11 season when they won 17.
This is where the number 15 becomes significant.
According to Jimmy Durkin of the Bay Area News Group, head coach Dave Wojcik, with a 15th win, would clinch a winning regular season prompting an automatic $15,000 annual raise and a one-year extension.
At an annual salary of $258,168, the $15,000 raise is nice, but for Wojcik, the one-year extension would surely be a bigger deal.
Wojcik is currently contracted until the end of the 2017-18 season and with the men’s program surging, it would be astonishing if he wasn’t offered an extension.
There could be a possible speed bump for that extension, however.
San Jose State recently made a leadership change when university president Mary Papazian decided not to extend then athletic director Gene Bleymaier’s contract. This resulted in Bleymaier stepping down as AD and shifting to a special advisor position to Papazian to focus on the South Campus facility developments.
The speed bump: Bleymaier was the man who hired Wojcik in 2013.
Bleymaier was the athletic director at Boise State when Wojcik was associate head of the Broncos’ men’s team. Eventually, Bleymaier moved over to San Jose State and ultimately brought in Wojcik.
With Bleymaier now out, deputy Mary Tuite will serve as interim athletic director for the Spartans. Despite previously holding the position, it is unclear if Tuite will resign Wojcik.
At this point, it seems Wojcik’s role at San Jose State is in his hands and the hands of his team, and with three regular season games remaining and just one win needed, the odds are evidently in his favor — for the most part.
It has been a process for Wojcik to get the men’s program to its current state. Since becoming the Spartans’ head coach in nearly four years ago, the team has posted a forgettable 18-74 record, not including this season — but there’s been some adversity along the way.
In April 2014, the Spartans were inflicted penalties for Academic Progress Rate from the 2012-13 season — George Nessman’s final campaign as SJSU’s head coach — resulting in a postseason ban for the 2014-15 season and replacing four hours of practice time with academic activities. The following season, in which the Spartans won just two games, five players were suspended indefinitely for violating rules. Two of the players were later dismissed from the team.
Fortunately for Wojcik, his team has been able to overcome the rough patches by winning nine games in 2015-16, totaling the wins from the previous two seasons, and more importantly, with multiple players receiving academic honors.
Now, the Spartans are one win a away from a winning season and bringing Wojcik back for another year.
SJSU will get a chance to secure a winning record today in its road battle with Boise State (17-9, 10-5 MW). The Broncos won the first matchup at The Event Center a little over a month ago and are roaring right now, having won five of their last seven conference games.
A win won’t come easily for SJSU as it will attempt to monitor Chandler Hutchison and Paris Austin, the Broncos’ leading scorers who totaled for 26 last time around.
On the flip side, Boise State has the difficulty of limiting a Spartans’ trio of Brandon Clarke, Ryan Welage and Jaycee Hillsman who racked up a collective 54 points in the teams first meeting.
Tip-off is at 1 p.m.