Jerry Wainwright Named Director Of Basketball Operations At MU
June 18, 2012
In 16 seasons as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level (DePaul, Richmond, UNC-Wilmington), Wainwright led his teams to a total of seven postseason campaigns (three NCAA berths and four NIT appearances).
“We are very grateful to add coach Wainwright as the final member of our staff,” Williams said. “I have known coach since early in my career and have always been humbled by his willingness to share wisdom with me as I have advanced.
“I never knew as we were building our relationship, that an opportunity like this would ever materialize, but I am very grateful that it has,” Williams added. “His wealth of knowledge and experiences will help everyone in our program on one level or another.”
Wainwright spent the 2011-12 season as an associate head coach on Rodney Terry’s staff at Fresno State. The Bulldogs collected a 13-win campaign in Terry’s first season as head coach.
Prior to Fresno State, Wainwright served as the head coach at fellow BIG EAST competitor DePaul. He helped engineer the program's best start ever in conference play during the 2007-08 season, and, for the third-straight season in his tenure with the Blue Demons, DePaul posted at least one victory over a top-25 team.
In 2006-07, his second season at DePaul, Wainwright reached a career milestone by recording his 200th win as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level. His squad that season earned a bid to the NIT and made the program's deepest postseason tournament run since 1990, reaching the quarterfinals after thrilling wins over Hofstra and at Kansas State. Individually, Sammy Mejia and Wilson Chandler were both named second team All-BIG EAST Conference. Both Chandler (first round) and Mejia (second round) were drafted by the NBA.
Before joining DePaul, Wainwright spent three seasons as the head coach of 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 led 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 bid, a win at 10th-ranked Kansas sandwiched between road victories at Temple and Xavier were 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 selection. The Spiders fell to Wisconsin, 76-64, in the opening round at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
In Wainwright's first season with the Spiders, he 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 over 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 trips to the NCAA Championship (2000, 2002) and the National Invitation Tournament (1998, 2001). In addition, he directed the team to its first postseason berth, first 20-win season (1998) and the first win in the NCAA tournament, a stunning 93-89 triumph over USC.
During his tenure, the team captured three regular season Colonial Athletic Association 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 campaign.
A year after taking over the UNCW program in 1994, Wainwright had 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, a 57-47 win over Richmond, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
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, again, finished among the nation's best in team defense, ranked 17th in the country.
Wainwright himself touched every step on his ascent towards the top of the coaching ladder. Prior to arriving at Wilmington, he spent nine years as an assistant coach at Wake Forest. Under Bob Staak (1986-89) and Dave Odom (1989-94), he helped rebuild the Demon Deacons' program.
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.
A 1968 graduate of Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo., Wainwright earned his graduate degree from the University of Denver.
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 native state, Illinois, as an assistant coach at East Leyden High School in suburban Chicago. While there, he helped teams compile an amazing 104-4 four-year record. Wainwright also coached at Chicago's Highland Park High School, directing his team to the state's "Sweet 16" in 1982. He was named state district coach of the year his last two seasons.
A native of Berwyn, Ill., Wainwright is married to the former Debbie Tedesco. Wainwright has two sons, Brett and Scott. In addition, he is the grandfather of four, Alexis, Brett, Gracie and Maria.