BETHANY, Okla. – Southwestern Christian University announced the hiring ofDave Blissas its new men's basketball coach at a press conference Wednesday.
Bliss, a veteran coach who has won over 500 games at college basketball's highest level, becomes just the third men's basketball coach in SCU history.
He replaces former SCU coachQuinn Wooldridgewho left to take over the men's basketball program at Oklahoma Baptist.
"We are extremely excited to have Dave Bliss join the SCU family," SCU Vice President of Intercollegiate AthleticsMark Arthursaid. "We are committed to help him as he works to build the men's basketball program to one of national prominence. His coaching ability and records speak for themselves, but the story of what God has done in and through him outweighs his wins and losses. I look forward to seeing the spiritual impact he will have on the entire SCU community."
Prior to taking over at SCU, Bliss held collegiate head coaching jobs at Oklahoma (1975-80), SMU (1980-88), New Mexico (1988-99) and Baylor (1999-2003). Most recently, Bliss worked at Allen Academy as its athletic director and basketball coach. He led the private prep school in Bryan, Texas to the Class 2A Texas Christian Athletic League (TCAL) state championship in each of his five years.
"The state of Oklahoma has meant a great deal to me and my family," Bliss said. "I have so many good memories here. I met my wife here, and our first child was born here. When I heard about the opportunity at Southwestern Christian University, I truly felt God's guidance telling me this is where I need to be at this point in my career. I feel honored that Southwestern Christian has put their trust in me, and I look forward to helping encourage their young people as Southwestern Christian continues to grow."
SCU officials expressed great satisfaction with the new coach's decision.
"Athletics and the discipline it brings to students is a vital part of our efforts to educate the whole person at SCU," SCU President Dr. Reggies Wenyikasaid. "We use athletics to prepare students for future success and leadership, and that's why it was important for us to look for the right individual who can lead our efforts in this regard. Coach Bliss is that individual. He understands our mission and has an understanding of what our program needs to rise to the next level. The SCU Eagles welcome him with open arms and are thankful that he has chosen to make SCU his home."
A graduate of Cornell, Bliss was an all-Ivy League guard for the Big Red and captain of the school's baseball team. He later earned his MBA from Cornell in 1967.
Southwestern Christian University is a Christ-centered liberal arts institution equipping students for a life of learning, leadership, and service; integrating faith, learning, and living; and empowering graduates to excel and to positively impact their world for Jesus Christ. Please support our mission at give.swcu.edu.
Posted on Wed, April 8, 2015
by Matt Stephens