November 24, 2008

Ed Tapscott's Coaching Record in D.C.

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As mentioned below, interim Wiz coach Ed Tapscott becomes the second straight Wiz boss with impeccable local credentials. In addition to going to high school at Sidwell, Tapscott spent eight seasons at American, amassing a 109-117 record before resigning in the spring of 1990 at the age of 36. He said at the time that he would be entering a career in sports management, which would rely both on and would "probably" not coach again.

Tapscott tried to resign after four straight losing season early in his tenure, but the offer wasn't accepted. Oddly, he ended up stepping down after his best year.

Other highlights:

* During a 1982 upset over Georgetown, a university study clocked Tapscott's heart rate at 170 beats per minute, more than double the normal rate.

* That upset was one of the highlights of the early part of Tapscott's tenure. "The Georgetown win didn't affect me as much but it helped the school in many ways," Tapscott said later. "Sometimes a major upset like that tends to make one think in terms of unrealistic expectations. But I didn't lose track of the fact you can be a hero one day and a bum the next. I was invited to speak at eight banquets following that (winning) season. Last year, I went to one. Without that one invitation, I might have gone hungry all year."

* "Tapscott was known as a coach with a conscience, who sacrificed his potential in law and earning ability for a modest coaching salary because he preferred attempting to influence players both on and off the court," wrote Sally Jenkins the day after he left Tenleytown. "He leaves frank in his assessment of the state of college basketball. 'I'm not sure we're being as honest as we can be,' he said. 'We profess to be about education and values, but I've seen that erode. I hope we can get it back.'

* A few months before he left, Tapscott won his 100th career game, with a decision over UNC Wilmington. "I feel like I'm 100," said a "dreary-eyed" Tapscott, according to The Post. "It's been a long time coming. It really wasn't something that I have focused on very much, but when you win 100, it makes you feel a little bit old."

* Tapscott's Eagles broke a seven-game losing streak during a miserable 1984 campaign with a win against Delaware. On Feb. 29. "Thank God for Feb. 29," Tapscott said. "If it weren't for leap year we might never have gotten another win."

* American opened the new Bender Arena during Tapscott's tenure, which led to an interesting night: a 56-55 win over James Madison when the Dukes missed a last-second shot.

"The festive crowd in the 5,000-seat facility nearly cost American the game," David Aldridge wrote the next day. "Twice, American was called for technical fouls after fans threw objects out onto the court. Madison made the resulting free throws. 'It's a new experience for students,' American Coach Ed Tapscott said. 'Technical fouls are not something, obviously, that we want. But I really enjoyed that kind of support. It was a lot of fun.'

* Tapscott's year-by-year record in Tenleytown:

1982-83: 20-10

1983-84: 6-22

1984-85: 9-19

1985-86: 10-18

1986-87: 13-14

1987-88: 14-14

1988-89: 17-11

1989-90: 20-9

Total record: 109-117 (.482)
Source: Washington Post

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