Matt Majkrzak: At the Helm of Wildcats Basketball

Marquette, Mich. – The Wildcats are back in full force for basketball, after a year full of restrictions, setbacks and tough lessons, head coach Matt Majkrzak led Northern to an eight and eight season. If you ask coach the record is exactly where the Wildcats need to be

“It was one of those…I mean it was a hard year for everyone. We started late, didn’t have our full practice time before the season started” said head coach Matt Majkrzak. “I think eight and eight was a pretty fair result, I felt like we had some good stuff, some bad stuff and at the end a .500 record about what we were.”

The Wildcats conclude their season with back to back wins before their series against Purdue Northwest was cancelled. The Wildcats season came to an abrupt end due to a positive COVID test, and coach Majkrzak had to face his biggest challenge yet

“Just having to tell them that your year is over, that was probably the hardest. There also was all the setbacks last year that we had.” said coach Majkrzak. “We started up practice, got about a week in, got shut down again. That kind of starting and stopping was the hardest part for sure, and just explaining it to the guys who just want to play. They don’t get it all; they don’t get all the reasons behind decisions so just trying to explain that all to them.”

Coach Majkrzak’s job is to grow and develop his players into great athletes but also great people. Entering his fourth year at the helm, Coach Majkrzak has seen his own growth and development as the leader of the Wildcats

“I was probably a little more X’s and O’s focused. It was about trying to get our guys to play basketball a certain style, a certain way. I think maybe partly now that we have guys that are used to how I want things to be. Now its must more focused on relationships.” Coach Majkrzak said. “Just how they get along with each other and even just hanging out with them day in and day out, I think when you first start out [coaching] you try to put up a little bit of a wall with some of the guys. Now I want the opposite, I want them coming into my office, talking things that have nothing to do basketball.”

Coach Majkrzak is looking for that player to be the leader but he doesn’t pick one, just like his players in a film session…he just sits back and learns

“I usually look at what the other guys are doing when you ask questions. The players have a really good way of knowing who the leader is. Sometimes as coaches you want to pick the leader, but if you ask the question and everyone is looking at someone…that’s the leader.” Coach Majkrzak stated. “Whether or not you can get a vibe of who everyone turns to when things get hard, who they’re counting on, who they trust. In some ways I almost feel like the players pick the leader themselves and it’s our job [as coaches] to recognize that.”

It isn’t hard to recognize that the Wildcats have talent with veteran players, talented grad transfers and a stacked recruiting class coming in…with basketball season closing in, and we may see the Wildcats cutting down some nets due in part to a dedicated coach.