Dave Bliss, in a scene from the Showtime original documentary “Disgraced.” Showtime Courtesy of SHOWTIME
Dave Bliss, in a scene from the Showtime original documentary “Disgraced.” Showtime Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Baylor Bears

‘Disgraced’ basketball coach Dave Bliss hired by Christian high school in Sin City

By Matthew Martinez


August 03, 2017 02:16 PM

Disgraced former Baylor men’s basketball coach Dave Bliss has once again found a landing spot, this time at a small faith-based high school in Las Vegas.

The mission statement of Las Vegas’ Calvary Chapel Christian School, according to its website, reads, “Calvary Chapel Christian School exists to build a strong foundation upon God’s word, reach the heart with God’s love and impact the world for God’s glory.”

To that end, reportedly, the high school has hired Bliss, three months after he resigned at Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Okla., following the premiere of the Showtime documentary “Disgraced,” which centers on the 2003 murder of former player Patrick Dennehy and attempted cover-up by Bliss.

He smeared Dennehy’s name by calling the murder victim a drug dealer while trying to cover up the illegal tuition payments he provided to Dennehy while he played basketball at Baylor.

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Bliss, 73, told the Star-Telegram in a 2016 interview that “I lost my mind” during the 2003 scandal that resulted in his resignation and that of then-Baylor athletic director Tom Stanton.

Former Baylor University basketball coach Dave Bliss talks about his dramatic fall from coaching amid scandal and how he found redemption through his faith. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)


The hiring, which was brought to light Thursday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, has had a similar effect on social media users.

Star-Telegram content partner WFAA-TV reported on the hiring Wednesday night.

Dave Bliss has been hired to coach high school kids.

Yes, that Dave Bliss. pic.twitter.com/wVt9UszjAf

— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) August 3, 2017

Some on social media have found fault with Bliss’ continued ability to find employment in coaching, while NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not been signed after causing controversy by kneeling during the national anthem.

Dave Bliss, disgraced former coach, can get a job, but Colin Kaepernick, standing up for his beliefs, can't?

— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) August 2, 2017

Some are simply flummoxed by the hire.

Dave Bliss hired to coach kids again?!? This is insane. Do people not have Google? https://t.co/NcAwHzLIIQ

— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 3, 2017

That school in Vegas not only hired Dave Bliss, they made him AD. What in the actual hell.

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 2, 2017

The Christian angle to Bliss’ last two hires isn’t lost on those wielding social media pitchforks in the air.

14 years ago Dave Bliss tried to frame one of his murdered players as a drug dealer. He's been hired twice since...by Christian schools.

— Chris Spatola (@Chris_Spatola) August 3, 2017

The last two schools to hire Dave Bliss were both Christian institutions. Bliss, 73, tried to frame a murdered player as a drug dealer

— Terrence Payne (@terrence_payne) August 3, 2017

The word “unconscionable” is being thrown around.

"To hire him to not only coach a basketball team but to head an athletic department is unconscionable." https://t.co/hg97y4Y0MI

— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) August 3, 2017

What kind of mental space do you have to be in to look at Dave Bliss' job application and think "Yeah, let's do it." https://t.co/JfHX9AXaZe

— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) August 3, 2017

We’ll save you the scores of references to O.J. Simpson and “Trump’s America,” but rest assured, they’re out there, too.

This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives.

Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667, @MCTinez817