Dynamic Duo

February 12, 2003
Twenty-eight years. Martin and Lewis didn't last that long together. Neither did John and Yoko, Lucy and Desi or Abbott and Costello.
None of those famous duos can match the working relationship shared by Baylor men's basketball head coach Dave Bliss and assistant coach Doug Ash.
The two first teamed up in the 1973-74 season, when Bliss was an assistant at Indiana under Bob Knight and Ash was a graduate assistant. When Bliss accepted the head coaching position at Oklahoma in 1975, he offered Ash a full-time assistant position.
"There is no doubt that my familiarity with Doug as a person and the fact that he knew the philosophy I wanted to teach has helped us work so well together," Bliss said. "I respected his work habits and his ability to teach basketball, and I thought he'd be a great recruiter, which he has been."
The pair spent five years together at Oklahoma before moving to SMU, where they would spend eight seasons. From SMU, the pair headed to New Mexico for an 11-year stint before coming to Baylor in 1999, where they won their 500th game together in 2001.
"Perhaps had I listened to him more, we'd have gotten to 500 wins a lot faster," Bliss said. "In a day and time when not a lot of people have best friends, he has been a best friend."
The relationship has led to much success, including 11 NCAA tournament appearances. Their win total ranks Bliss among the top 15 active Division-I coaches.
Since coming to Baylor, the two have led the Bears to upset wins over No. 6 Kansas in 2001 and over No. 22 Missouri in 2002.
"I'm not sure how many working relationships there are where the head coach and assistant are friends. Our philosophies about basketball are the same. We're both Christians, which makes a difference. Even our families are close," Ash said. "It's just a wonderful feeling to see how far it's come."


Brown is assistant athletic media relations director and Internet coordinator in Baylor Athletics.
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