Thanks to his ability to empathize with the players and his talent for recruiting, coach Chris Wojcik ’96 led the Harvard lacrosse program to new heights in the 2014 season.
“The past three years that I have been with [Wojcik], he has continued to progress as a coach like our team has progressed as a unit,” junior goaltender Jake Gambitsky said. “He works really hard to be in tune with everything that goes on in our lives, academically, socially, and on the lacrosse field.”
Wojcik, who captained both the Harvard varsity lacrosse and soccer teams as an undergraduate, is in tune with the needs of his players when it comes to balancing academic demands and athletic ones.
“I’ve been in the players’ shoes as a student-athlete at Harvard,” Wojcik said. “I know the demands that they are under…. I know they first have to take care of business with their academics and then second be able to be a Division I athlete…. I can then devise our overall program around that.”
Success as a head coach was not immediate for Wojcik, as the 2014 season was the first time since his start with the Crimson squad in 2011 that the team has had a winning record in both overall games and Ancient Eight play.
Harvard also captured its first Ivy League regular season title in 24 years this year, and advanced to NCAA tournament play for the first time since 2006.
Wojcik’s recruiting capability has played a major factor in the team’s success.
“The success that we had this year was a result of the talented players that we had,” Wojcik said. “Bringing in talented players is obviously very important to any program. We have been able to successfully recruit some strong classes, and I think you can see that on the field.”
Harvard has boasted a top-10 recruiting class every year since Wojcik started with the Crimson. It is his hope that, with a strong lineup, the Harvard men’s lacrosse program will see even greater success in the future.
“I think our goals are always simply to be the best that we can be,” Wojcik said. “Tangibly our goals are to win the Ivy League regular season championship, win the Ivy League tournament, and then win the national championship. I hope that our NCAA tournament appearance this year will inspire our players to be even hungrier next year.”
—Staff writer Caroline L. Ferguson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.