- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

BETHANY, Okla. (AP) - Dave Bliss, who resigned at Baylor in 2003 following a major scandal, has been named head coach at Southwestern Christian University, a small NAIA school.

In 2003, Baylor player Patrick Dennehy was found shot to death after he had been missing for six weeks. Former teammate Carlton Dotson pleaded guilty to murder, and the ensuing investigation uncovered NCAA violations, illegal tuition payments and unreported failed drug tests on Bliss’ watch, leading him to resign. Bliss also was secretly recorded by an assistant coach as he tried to persuade others to cover up his misdeeds by portraying Dennehy as a drug dealer.

“There’s no doubt I was ashamed and embarrassed by what occurred at Baylor,” Bliss told The Oklahoman. “But in my heart, I felt that wasn’t who I was. That’s what I did.”

Bliss, 71, has won more than 500 games in 28 years in stops at Oklahoma, SMU, New Mexico and Baylor. His teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament 10 times.

Now, he is ready to focus on a much different task.

“When I was in my lowest moment, I didn’t miss money and I didn’t miss the fame that goes with being a D-I coach. I missed being called coach,” Bliss told The Oklahoman. “I missed dealing with my kids, even if it involved a loss. I missed character and integrity. I got my head turned by the competitive world of athletics, but I’ve been given a second chance.”

Bliss hopes to make the best of his new opportunity.

“I look at Southwestern as very similar in some manner of speaking to a lot of jobs that I have had,” he said. “What they need, I feel I am excited about trying to provide. I know even though Southwestern might not be a D-I school, I know they want to be successful. My goal is, within the requirements of the school, have a program that’s very competitive, that faculty and students can be very proud of, and will be a great help in building the enrollment of the school. There’s no doubt that successful athletic programs have a chance to help that situation.”

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