Bliss hired to coach at Ve­gas high school

Ca­reer at Bay­lor ended in scan­dal, 10-year NCAA ban.

Austin American-Statesman - - CLASSIFIED - By Matthew Berger Dal­las Morn­ing News

Dave Bliss is back coach­ing bas­ket­ball.

The for­mer Bay­lor men’s coach, whose ten­ure there ended in scan­dal, has been hired to coach high school ball at Cal­vary Chapel Chris­tian in Las Ve­gas, ac­cord­ing to the Las Ve­gas Re­view-Jour­nal’s Jonathan Saxon and Da­mon Seit­ers.

He’ll also serve letic di­rec­tor.

Bliss’ most re­cent coach- ing stint was at South­west­ern Chris­tian, an NAIA col- lege in Bethany, Okla. He re­signed af­ter two years with the pro­gram fol­low­ing the air­ing of Show­time’s “Dis­graced” doc­u­men­tary.

The sub­ject of that doc­u­men­tary was the 2003 mur­der case in which Bay­lor bas­ket­ball player Pa­trick Den­nehy was slain by team­mate Carl­ton Dot­son. Bliss re­signed from Bay­lor af­ter falsely ac­cus­ing Den- nehy of be­ing a drug dealer to hide the fact he had paid for Den­nehy’s tu­ition, an NCAA vi­o­la­tion.

Dot­son was con­victed of mur­der and re­ceived a 35-year sen­tence.

Bliss’ past did not de­ter Cal­vary Chapel Chris­tian School from hir­ing him, how­ever.

“There’s a great docu- men­tary he’s put out there on his tes­ti­mony, and that is the one thing every­body needs to see right now,” Sep- tem­ber Wil­son, a coach and teacher at the school, told the Re­view-Jour­nal. “That he’s a man of Christ.”

Bliss has coached at Okla- homa, SMU and New Mex­ico in ad­di­tion to Bay­lor and South­west­ern Chris­tian. He re­ceived a 10-year ban from coach­ing from the NCAA fol­low­ing the Bay­lor scan­dal.

The Dal­las Morn­ing News’ as ath- Brad Townsend wrote on Bliss in 2003. Here’s a short ex­cerpt from his story:

His­tory’s view of Mr. Bliss will be colored by the Bay­lor scan­dal, which has re­sulted in a coach­ing change, a likely mass ex­o­dus of play­ers and a self-im­posed two-year pro­ba­tion for the bas­ket­ball pro­gram.

The mys­tery, in hind­sight, is how he could have been so ad­mired, yet ap­par­ently dis- liked, for all th­ese years while be­ing gen­er­ally re­spected by peers, fans and the me­dia.

But Rob Rob­bins, who played for Mr. Bliss at the Univer­sity of New Mex­ico from 1988 to ’91, said he’s not sur­prised by his for­mer coach’s fall.

“He’s a liar, for one, a used­car sales­man,” said Mr. Rob­bins, who grad­u­ated as the school’s sec­ond-lead­ing scorer. “He’ll promise you one thing and give you an­other. Every­thing he said or did was just a means to make him richer and more pow­er­ful and to feed his ego.

“I’m sorry for Den­nehy’s fam­ily. It’s un­for­tu­nate and a tragedy that a kid had to die in order for the truth to come out.”

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