Wainwright returns to the West Coast under longtime colleague

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Former UNCW men’s basketball coach Jerry Wainwright has returned to the college ranks after a one-year hiatus and joins the Fresno State Bulldogs as an assistant under longtime friend and colleague Rodney Terry.

Wainwright is back on the West Coast for a second time to work with his former assistant at UNCW after helping shape the Bulldogs’ program during the 2011-12 season at the beginning of Terry’s tenure as head coach. Terry served on his staff at the University of Richmond after spending the previous four seasons under Wainwright in the Port City.

Jerry Wainwright. Photo courtesy- www.gobulldogs.com
Jerry Wainwright. Photo courtesy- www.gobulldogs.com

The Illinois native stepped away from the game following the departure of Buzz Williams, who left Marquette University for the head coaching position at Virginia Tech in 2014. Wainwright was an associate head coach during his time in Milwaukee.

His last stop as a head coach was a five-year stretch on the sidelines at DePaul. During his collegiate tenure, he has taken his teams to seven postseason tournaments, including three NCAA berths and four NIT appearances.

Prior to his stint at Richmond, Wainwright enjoyed a highly successful run as head coach at UNC-Wilmington. In eight seasons he compiled a 136-103 (.569) record. Wainwright piloted the Seahawks to a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament (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.