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
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
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
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
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
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.