When Ed Tapscott Followed Gary Williams
The last D.C.-area basketball coach who Ed Tapscott followed as a head coach? Try Gary Williams, in the spring of 1982, when Gary left American U. to take over at Boston College, he was succeeded by a 28-year-old Tapscott, who had become a part-time assistant at American to pay his way through law school, which he completed before becoming a head coach. He was American's first black coach, and had considered leaving coaching to practice law before his breakthrough at AU.
Today, of course, he was named interim coach of the Wizards.
Borrowing heavily from the WaPo stories the next two days, written by Mark Asher and Michael Trilling, here's what you can learn:
* Tapscott was a 1971 graduate of Sidwell Friends School (Obama!) and a 1975 graduate of Tufts University. In his two seasons as Gary's top assistant, American won 45 games and earned two postseason tourney bids.
* His cousin, Marty Tapscott, was at the time an assistant police chief in D.C.
* After finishing at Tufts, where he played point guard, Tapscott spent a season coaching the school's freshman team, which finished 16-3. Under Williams, Tapscott was in charge of the defense, and advocated a full-court, 94-foot game, a pressure defense and a fast-breaking offense.
* American's other assistant at the time was Fran Dunphy, who succeeded John Chaney at Temple.
* "While I was attending Sidwell Friends, I used to come to AU to watch practice," Tapscott said during his opening presser. "The doors were always locked so I had to look through the cracks between the doors. I was an admirer of Kermit Washington and Tom Young's coaching and I hope to continue that legacy. The doors might not be locked now, but there will be someone watching who comes in."
November 24, 2008; 10:47 AM ET
Categories: College Basketball , Wizards
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