Bob Wade (basketball)

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Bob Wade
Sport(s) Basketball, football
Biographical details
Born (1944-12-09) December 9, 1944 (age 69)
Baltimore, Maryland
Alma mater Morgan State University
Playing career
1968
1969
1970
Pittsburgh Steelers
Washington Redskins
Denver Broncos
Position(s) Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1975–1986
1986–1989
Dunbar HS
Maryland
Head coaching record
Overall 272-24 (High School)
36–50 (College)
Accomplishments and honors
Awards
USA Today Coach of the Year - 1983

Robert Pernell Wade (born December 9, 1944) is a former men's college basketball head coach for the University of Maryland (1986–1989), as well as an American football defensive back for the National Football League.

Football career[edit]

Wade played college football at Morgan State University. After his collegiate career, he played in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1968), the Washington Redskins (1969), and the Denver Broncos (1970).

Basketball coaching career[edit]

Prior to his coaching stint at Maryland, Wade coached at Baltimore's Dunbar High School for ten years, where he compiled a 341-25 record and was often ranked in the nation's top 10. In his best two seasons at the inner-city high school, 1981–1983, Wade put together teams that produced a 60-0 record, the second of which was ranked first in the nation by USAToday. His 1981-82 team produced four future NBA players - three of them first-round draft picks - including Boston Celtics captain Reggie Lewis, who was the high school's team's sixth man, and 5'-3" Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, who had a 14-year NBA career despite being the shortest player in league history.[1]

Wade was originally hired to replace Lefty Driesell, Maryland's basketball coach of 17 years. Driesell resigned over concerns about the death of All-American forward Len Bias and subsequent revelations about his players' academic performances; the fact that Wade and Driesell didn't like each other, and Wade had consistently said he hadn't wanted Dunbar prospects to play for Driesell at Maryland, was not overlooked by commentators. In high school, Wade had been a strong disciplinarian, and he was appealing to University of Maryland administrators who were attempting to clean up the basketball program.[2] He was also hired in order to increase diversity, as he became the first African American coach of a major sport in the Atlantic Coast Conference, despite the fact that he had no prior experience in coaching a team at the collegiate level.

Largely due to the loss of several players suspended after the Len Bias incident, Wade's first season was one of the worst in school history. The Terps suffered what is still their only winless record in ACC play, as part of an overall 9-17 record. Wade quickly rebuilt the team and got the Terps back into the NCAA tournament a year later. Due to the transfer of star players Brian Williams and Steve Hood, the team significantly regressed in 1988-89, losing 20 games, the most in school history. Wade was forced to resign on May 12, 1989 after only three years as head coach, compiling a 36-50 record. His resignation came amid allegations that he broke NCAA rules in dealing with players and recruits. While criticized for his coaching abilities, his ability to recruit was not in question. In only 2 years of recruiting, (he was hired too late for any serious recruiting his first year) Wade landed 3 NBA first round draft picks in Williams (who later changed his name to Bison Dele), Jerrod Mustaf, and Walt Williams.

An investigation found that, among other things, Wade had provided a loan to one of his recruits and provided free clothes to his players. More seriously, Wade lied to the NCAA on several occasions, and even went as far as to hold a meeting with his staff to coordinate plans to lie to the NCAA. In one of the toughest penalties handed out by the NCAA for such transgressions, the Terps were placed on three years' probation, banned from postseason play in 1991 and 1992 and kicked off live television for the 1990-91 season. Wade himself was hit with a five-year show-cause order, which effectively blackballed him from the collegiate ranks until 1995.[3] Noting the lack of institutional control and perceiving his departure as mistreatment of an African American coach, blue chip high school players from Baltimore City would largely avoid Maryland until Keith Booth chose to attend Maryland in 1993.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Name, Author (2007-09-21). "Dunbar High: Brick House". Slam Online. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  2. ^ Rhoden, William (January 18, 1988). "College Basketball; Maryland Bounces Back Under Wade". New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  3. ^ 1990 Maryland infraction report