Friday, July 15, 2005

Back to the Basics--Rudy Washington Takes High School Coaching Job

Rudy Washington, a 30-year coaching veteran whose stops included Iowa and Drake, will take over the boys' basketball program at Los Angeles Verbum Dei, where he began his career in 1976.

Washington replaces DeAnthony Langston, who has been promoted to executive director of Urban Compass, a nonprofit organization formed in partnership with Verbum Dei.

Verbum Dei is described as a "college preparatory school for young men."

It is a Catholic school in a rough part of town. Verbum Dei has quite a roster of former players who went on to bigger and better things. It always has been a basketball power of such, but the glory days were in the 1970s.

Today, Verbum Dei no longer has the market on kids transferring. All the public schools have joined in, making the prep basketball scene in Los Angeles what one observer called "a filthy mess."

So Verbum Dei has been knocked down a notch and plays in a lower division, but still does well. Westchester is the hot school these days, along with Fairfax, and to a lesser degree Crenshaw.

Washington is a former assistant coach at Iowa and head coach at Drake. Washington's records at Drake were 8-21 in 1990-91, 6-21 in 1991-92, 14-14 in 1992-93, 11-16 in 1993-94, 12-15 in 1994-95 and 12-15 in 1995-96.

It was thought two months ago that Bakersfield College, a two-year school in Bakersfield, Calif., would hire Washington as its coach for next season. But then Bakersfield officials withdrew the offer, without saying why.


I hear that University of Iowa sports information director Phil Haddy had two stents inserted into his coronary arteries Wednesday, and is scheduled for another next week. He underwent coronary bypass surgery several years ago.