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JERRY WAINWRIGHT
 
FPI: 14
 
REGION: No. 4 in West
 

 
DEPAUL

Heeding the call to return to his roots, suburban Berwyn native Jerry Wainwright returned to Chicago and became DePaul's 11th head men's basketball coach on April 28, 2005.

As Wainwright enters his 13th season as a head coach, he is two victories short of recording the 200th win as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level. During his 12-year tenure, Wainwright has taken his teams to six postseason tournaments including three NCAA berths and three NIT appearances.

In his first season at the helm of the Blue Demons in 2005-06, Wainwright inherited the youngest DePaul squad in seven years and guided it through the eighth-toughest schedule (according to Basketball Times) in the nation including the program's initial season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference and finished with a 12-15 record.

Highlighting his rookie campaign in Lincoln Park were victories over then-No. 16 Wake Forest (snapping the Demon Deacons' 21-game home winning streak), NCAA Tournament participants UAB, California, Seton Hall and Syracuse along with postseason participants Notre Dame and Creighton.

The Blue Demons played 18 games against teams the reached postseason tournaments including 11 against NCAA Tournament squads. Individually freshman Wilson Chandler was named a unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team while junior Sammy Mejia was twice named to the league's honor roll.

Another highlight of his first season with the Blue Demons came in June when he was selected to serve as an assistant coach for USA Basketball's 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Men Team. Along with Head Coach Lorenzo Romar (Washington) and fellow Assistant Coach Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech) the trio helped the U.S. squad breeze through the tournament and qualify for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship.

Wainwright came to Lincoln Park after 11 successful seasons as a head coach including the previous three at Richmond. Wainwright left his mark during his three seasons at Richmond, establishing the Spiders on the national stage as several team and individual accomplishments highlighted his tenure with the Atlantic 10 school. In 2003-04 Wainwright brought Richmond to the NCAA Tournament, earning the program's second-ever, at-large berth behind the nation's ninth-ranked defense.

Along with the NCAA berth, a win at 10th-ranked Kansas sandwiched between road victories at Temple and Xavier where milestones of the season. After a spirited run through the A-10 Tournament, Wainwright's crew was rewarded for its tough schedule with an NCAA berth. The Spiders fell Wisconsin 76-64 in the opening round at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

In Wainwright's first season, the Spiders used a nationally-ranked defense to post 16 wins and a berth to the NIT where they fell at Providence in the opening round. Prior to taking the reigns at Richmond, Wainwright enjoyed a highly successful run as head coach at UNC Wilmington. In eight seasons at UNCW, he compiled a 136-103 record. Wainwright piloted the Seahawks to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2000, 2002) and two National Invitation Tournaments (1998, 2001).

The program reached unprecedented heights during Wainwright's tenure as he guided the Seahawks to their first post-season berth, first 20-win season (1998) and the first win in the NCAA Tournament, a stunning 93-89 triumph over Southern California. During his time in Wilmington, the program captured three Colonial Athletic Association regular season titles and two CAA tournament crowns.

The Seahawks averaged nearly 17 wins per season under his tutelage and were ranked nationally in team defense each of his eight campaigns. A year after taking over the UNCW program in 1994, Wainwright built the seventh-best schedule in the country. The Seahawks suffocating defense was ranked fifth in the nation in 1995-96, allowing just 58.4 points per game.

Wainwright orchestrated one of the most memorable campaigns in UNCW history during the 1999-00 season when the Seahawks grabbed their first CAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the history of the program. In 2000-01, Wainwright earned CAA Coach of the Year honors for the second time.

The Seahawks posted their most impressive season ever in 2001-02, compiling a 22-9 mark, capturing the conference crown outright for the second straight season and advancing to their second NCAA Tournament. His team finished among the nation's best in team defense, ranking 17th in the country.

Wainwright himself has touched every step on the coaching ladder during his run to the top spot at DePaul. Prior to arriving at Wilmington, Wainwright spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Wake Forest. Under both Bob Staak (1986-89) and Dave Odom (1989-94), he helped build the Demon Deacons' program into a national power.

During his time in Winston-Salem, Wainwright helped Wake Forest collect a school-record four straight NCAA Tournament berths and register back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in a decade. Besides on-the-court coaching, he assisted in recruiting NBA draft picks Chris King (Seattle), Rodney Rogers (Denver), Randolph Childress (Detroit) and Tim Duncan (San Antonio).

He broke into the college coaching ranks in 1984-85 serving a one-year stint at Xavier under Staak. Wainwright began his coaching career in the prep ranks first at Montrose High School in Denver where he led his team to the state tournament and was named Colorado District Coach of the Year in 1975.

He returned to his home state as an assistant coach at East Leyden High School in suburban Franklin Park. In his four seasons Wainwright helped East Leyden compile an amazing 104-4 record. He also served as the head coach at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Ill., directing the program to the state's "Sweet 16" in 1982. He was named the district Coach-of-the-Year twice.

A 1968 graduate of Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo. with a B.A degree, Wainwright earned his graduate degree from the University of Denver in 1971.

A native of Berwyn, Ill., Wainwright is married to the former Debbie Tedesco. Jerry has two sons, Brett (35) and Scott (31). In addition, he has three grandchildren, Alexis, Brett and Gracie. 

                  

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