Former Baylor coach Dave Bliss hired as head coach of NAIA program


It’s hard to fathom Dave Bliss being hired to coach again in college basketball. The 71-year-old former Baylor head coach has been hired for the same position at Southwestern Christian University, an NAIA program in Oklahoma, according to a report from

Bliss tried to frame his former player, Patrick Dennehy, as a drug dealer after Dennehy was murdered in 2003 to cover up improper payments Bliss had made to his former player. The NCAA gave Bliss a ten-year show-cause penalty in 2005 for covering up major NCAA violations — including the improper payments.

It gets worse.

Abar Rouse, the assistant coach who recorded conversations that implicated Bliss, remains out of coaching in college basketball as of 2013. Rouse worked the night shift at an airplane parts factory, at a women’s prison and held one basketball job since the scandal, as a graduate assistant at Division II Midwestern State University.

A coach who framed his murdered former player as a drug dealer can still get a job while the guy who did the right thing continues to be blackballed in the world of college basketball.

There is no doubting that Bliss is a good basketball coach, and his 525-328 career record with stops at Oklahoma, SMU, New Mexico and Baylor backs that up. But he’s a horrible human being. It’s shocking that in 2015 we’re talking about Bliss being hired to lead a college basketball program after the way he handled the murder of one of his players.