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Las Vegas school offers Bible verse as response to Dave Bliss hiring

Updated August 7, 2017 - 4:51 pm

Calvary Chapel Christian School Superintendent John Trevino provided only a proverb Monday in his first public statement since hiring former NCAA Division I basketball coach Dave Bliss to lead his varsity team.

Trevino and Bliss attended the annual Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association preseason meetings alongside other athletics directors and administrators at Chaparral High School. Trevino declined to elaborate on the hiring of Bliss, whose resume includes 526 collegiate coaching victories and scandals at nearly every stop.

Instead, Trevino offered a smile and a Bible verse: “First Timothy 1:15,” which reads: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of who I am chief.”

Trevino, who is also in his first year as principal of the high school, repeated “First Timothy 1:15,” several times and added “that’s our response,” as he departed Chaparral’s campus alongside Bliss, who didn’t speak to the media.

Bliss, 73, has been linked throughout his coaching career to several major violations and cover-ups, most notably at Baylor, where he paid for players’ tuition and concocted a story that murdered player Patrick Dennehy was a drug dealer.

Bliss was given a 10-year “show cause” penalty in Division I basketball and coached at a couple of high schools before leading lower-division program Southwestern Christian. He resigned in April from that program after the airing of “Disgraced” a documentary produced by Showtime highlighting Bliss’ tenure at Baylor.

The Review-Journal reported last week that Calvary Chapel had hired Bliss as its new basketball coach and athletics director. The school has not returned phone calls and emails and has declined interview requests since Wednesday.

Class 2A Southern League President Bill Darrow told the Review-Journal on Thursday that Bliss’ hiring “is disconcerting for everybody. … People are worried.” But after Monday’s meeting, Darrow said he’s more focused on making sure Calvary Chapel abides by league rules.

“We had a normal league meeting. We went through a normal agenda. Same as every year,” Darrow said. “I asked Calvary Chapel and the people there that … they follow the rules and follow the procedures. They said they’re going to do that to a tee. That was it.”

Darrow said nobody at the meeting discussed Bliss’ transgressions.

“I explained to them that our concern (is) that the rules will be followed,” Darrow said. “That the transfer rules be followed. It’s not our concern or the league’s concern who the school hires. That’s up to the school and the coach.

“Our only concern is that everybody is on a level playing field, and that everybody follows the rules.”

Contact Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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