Back on October 5th, I mentioned that there has been a coaching change at NJCAA Wabash Valley College (JUCO DIRT). WVC has now made it official and named Isaac Wodajo as their new head coach. Here is the official release from the college:
Wabash Valley College Athletics and Warriors Basketball are proud to announce that Associate Head Coach, Isaac Wodajo, has been named Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the 2022-23 season.
This will be the first head coaching job for Isaac Wodajo (pronounced Wuh-Dah-Joe), making him one of the youngest men’s college basketball head coaches in the nation. He now takes the reigns of one of the NJCAA’s winningest junior college basketball programs, after being an assistant coach on the staff for three seasons. Wodajo will move over a seat for his fourth season overall, taking over a program with decades of tradition, many former WVC players currently playing at 4-year colleges and universities, several former WVC coaches sprinkled throughout all levels of college basketball, and a handful of players playing professionally.
“I’m grateful to be the head coach here at Wabash Valley College and I really appreciate President Dr. Fowler, the WVC administration, Luke Scheidecker, the Board of Trustees, and these players for believing in me to lead this program moving forward. What a big-time opportunity to continue the tradition at a great junior college that is committed to excellence, both athletically and academically”, Wodajo said.
Since arriving in Mount Carmel, Wodajo has been a key asset to 53 wins (two full seasons & COVID season) as an assistant coach and a significant piece for the player development of numerous former and current WVC players. He has been the offensive coordinator and lead coach every game on opponent scouting reports and film breakdowns. Wodajo has experience from various levels throughout his career, working previously in high school, Division 1, and junior college basketball.
Coach Isaac Wodajo on his new role and the season ahead, “The title changes, but the grind and mindset I have to be elite is still the same. We are working every day to build cohesion and chemistry with this group, while trying to maximize each player’s individual growth and the team’s potential as a whole. Every season is a marathon and getting this team as prepared as possible now to embrace the effort, process, and details it takes to consistently win games. I hope the campus and community will enjoy watching how hard we play and compete in everything we do.”
In his three previous seasons on the WVC staff, he’s assisted in the individual and player development of All-Region & All-Conference players: Marcus Garrett (Morehead State/Bethune Cookman), Bobby Harvey (IUPUI/Portland State), Jejuan Weatherspoon (West Florida), TreVon Smith (Middle Tennessee State), Darius Osborne (Alabama A&M), Deshaun Nettles, and Jakobi Heady.
Before WVC, Wodajo worked as a Graduate Assistant for two seasons at the University of Texas under Shaka Smart. Wodajo was responsible for various aspects of film breakdown, scouting, statistical analysis, player development, recruiting databases/player evaluation, assisting with official/unofficial visits, game preparation, and logistical operations. During Wodajo’s time in Austin, the Longhorns went 19-15 in the 2017-18 season, earning a 10 seed in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament. Following up in 2018-19, with a 21-16 record, winning the 2019 NIT Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden.
In addition, during those two seasons, the Texas program featured three NBA Draft picks: 6th overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the 2018 NBA Draft, Mo Bamba, 8th overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft, Jaxson Hayes, and 58th overall pick by the New York Knicks in the 2021 NBA Draft, Jericho Sims. Other Texas players that received numerous All-Big 12 Conference honors and awards during those two seasons: Kerwin Roach, Dylan Osetkowski, Andrew Jones, Matt Coleman, and Courtney Ramey.
Prior to his arrival at the University of Texas, Wodajo served as an Assistant Coach for the varsity boys’ basketball team at Milwaukee Riverside University High School, under Tyrone “Rock” Lewis. In his lone season, helping the Riverside Tigers (Preseason #1 in Wisconsin) to a City Conference and Regional Championship, posting a 19-7 overall record. The team featured 2022 ACC Player of the Year and current Brooklyn Nets player, Alondes “Man Man” Williams (Oklahoma/Wake Forest), Terrence Lewis (Iowa State/South Alabama/Grambling State), and Carlos Curtis (East Tennessee State/SIU-Edwardsville).
Wodajo also attended the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball summer camps under the direction of Head Coaches Bo Ryan and Greg Gard, serving as camp coach and camp counselor in June 2012 and June 2016. Wodajo holds a Master of Education degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Shortly after graduation, Wodajo began working in the financial services industry for a Financial Group in the Milwaukee area, while starting his coaching career in high school basketball. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wodajo was a standout player at Milwaukee Riverside University High School, earning All-Conference and All-Area honors.
What They’re Saying About Isaac Wodajo:
“Isaac is a tireless worker with tremendous character and integrity. His players won’t go one day without feeling the warmth of his genuine care and concern for them.”
(Marquette University Head Coach)
“Isaac has always shown an incredible work ethic since the beginning of his coaching career. You add that to the knowledge of the game he has amassed in the years since, and you have a head coach. I am excited to see him continue to grow.”
(Duke University Assistant Coach)
“I had the privilege of working with Isaac when he was a GA at the University of Texas. I was immediately impressed with his relentless work ethic, ability to communicate and connect with players, and his desire to learn and grow as a coach. I have watched his continued growth as a coach. His team will be well prepared, and he will put his student-athletes first and work tirelessly to develop them as players and people. Terrific hire for Wabash.”
(Northern Kentucky University Head Coach)
“Isaac will be an excellent coach at Wabash Valley. He is a dedicated and organized young coach. Isaac will represent the Wabash community in a professional manner.”
“Coach Isaac is a player’s coach. He wants what’s best for you on and off the court and can relate to players while still holding them to a high standard. He knows the game and knows how to motivate his players. One of my favorite coaches to play for.”
Former Warrior TreVon Smith
(2021-22 All-Region & All-Conference Selection – Middle Tennessee State University)
“Coach Isaac does his best to bring maximum effort out of his players. Any problems on or off the court he was always easy to talk to and would help us out the best he could. Coming from a high major D1 to coaching at the junior college level, and still expecting the same level of intensity out of his players is what makes him such a good coach. He still checks in with me, which lets me know he also cares about his players.”
Former Warrior Jejuan Weatherspoon
(2020-21 All-Region & All-Conference Selection – University of West Florida)
“Coach Isaac is a very good coach in many different ways because he pushes you on and off the court. He drives you not to be the best basketball player, but the best man you can be. I love Coach Isaac’s feel for the game, he knows what he’s talking about from his past experiences. He loves this game, because after we played and lost, I used to see in his eyes that he was upset and wanted more out of us and himself. That showed me his
character, and he’s a good human and person overall.”
Former Warrior Marcus Garrett
(2019-20 All-Region & All-Conference Selection – Bethune Cookman University)