Local high school hires ex-Baylor coach Dave Bliss despite past scandals

Posted at 2:27 PM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 17:27:02-04

Calvary Chapel Christian School competes in the smaller 2A conference but that hasn't stopped them from making a big splash by hiring former Baylor head basketball coach Dave Bliss as their men's basketball head coach and athletic director.

Bliss' coaching credentials are top-notch, he's been a head coach at Oklahoma, Southern Methodist, New Mexico and Baylor. Before those stops, he spent many years as an assistant coach at major universities. Coaches with those credentials don't come along often at the high school level, let alone smaller schools such as Calvery Chapel.

In Bliss' case, there's a reason he is now coaching a high school in Las Vegas. In 2003, the NCAA found him at the center of an investigation into the murder of Baylor player Patrick Dennehy by his teammate Carlton Dotson.

At the time Bliss suggested Dennehy was a drug dealer and used those funds to pay his tuition, a lie he later owned up to. Bliss was using that lie to hide the fact that he provided the funds.

The infractions, lies, and punishments handed down by the NCAA were enough to make Bliss virtually unhireable at the major college level.
After years of bouncing around lower college programs, Bliss finds himself at Calvary Chapel.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal spoke with staff members about the controversial hire.

“He is our athletic director. He has been brought in by our superintendent,” said September Wilson, a coach and teacher at Calvary Chapel.

“There’s a great documentary he’s put out there on his testimony, and that is the one thing everybody needs to see right now. That he’s a man of Christ,” Wilson went on to say.

It's true that a man can change and learn from his mistakes, but the once under the radar Catholic school just put themselves and their new athletic director under the microscope.