Today, for the first time in nearly a decade, a Wade will return to coach basketball at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.
But it's not Bob Wade.
It'll be his son, Daryl, whose No. 20 Knights (15-9) take a 10-game winning streak into the Class 2A state semifinals against Surrattsville of Prince George's County, ranked No. 12 in the Washington, D.C., area.
It has been eight years since Bob Wade was forced out after three seasons as the University of Maryland's coach. He and his wife, Carolyn, said they will be on hand to watch their eldest son in his first state tournament.
How do the Wades feel about returning to College Park?
"My father's history is history down there. I'm not worried about that," said Daryl Wade, who is 29. "The Wades have gone on with their lives. I want to go down there and show people that we're [City] a classy bunch. I'm going down there to win a 2A title."
And the father, now Baltimore's interim interscholastic sports director, doesn't want his past to upstage his son's future.
"It would bother me if the story's about Bob Wade instead of Daryl, the coach at Baltimore City College," Bob Wade said. "To me, it's not a big deal where they're playing. What's most important is how he's taken a group of young men and turned them into a cohesive unit."
Daryl Wade's assistant Calvin Scruggs agreed.
"What Daryl's accomplished at City is Daryl's accomplishment. He's a great coach who knows the game of basketball, and of course, he was taught well by his father," said Scruggs. "Two years ago, he asked me to help him coach. He said it was nothing he wanted to walk through. He wanted to make it his program, education first. He wanted to look at each player and make the system work for them and the coaches."
A pre-practice study hall is in place, and so is a strict dress code.
Out went "pants baggy off their behinds and shoes untied," Wade said, replaced by tucked-in shirts, ties, belts, and combed hair.
"We let them know right up front that we were going to have character," Scruggs said, "We're dealing with kids who are willing and want to play basketball, but we weren't going to let them violate our principles, the principles of the school, or the principles of the state."
The principles of the father are firmly in place.
"He was taught by his father, he's learned from his father, so naturally, at times I know those thoughts come to him -- 'Well, what would dad do?' " said Dunbar's first-year head coach Lynn Badham, who as a Dunbar assistant to Bob Wade was something of mentor to the younger Wade.
"That's part of it. And he's got to deal with that, of course, because in the streets, people are always going to say, 'That's Wade's son.' "
The son has striven to make a name for himself, and this year's team is making that happen.
Wade has a state title contender with senior floor leader Omar Smith, a speedy guard who averages 25 points. The teams of the future will be built around 7-foot sophomore center Derrick Goode, who averages around 15 points and 15 rebounds, and do-everything 6-4 junior Warren Smith.
"Daryl's having fun now, because he was able to build his team, put them in a structure where they can show off their god-given talents while still adhering to the team concept," Bob Wade said.
He's also won the confidence of a skeptical City faithful.
"City has a strong alumni backing. I had to prove to them that I was about City's program, not about where I'm from," said Wade, a reserve on his father's 1985 national title team who attended the University of South Carolina and now, in addition to coaching, is a computer technician and bail bondsman. "I'm not saying I wasn't wanted, but they had to accept an outsider, per se."
Before coming to City for the 1995-96 season, Wade coached Mervo's JV through four successful seasons, working under Woody Williams, former Lake Clifton coach who worked with his close friend Bob Wade at Maryland.
When former Dunbar basketball coach Paul Smith was fired last spring, there was speculation Daryl would leave City for that job.
"I could have taken a job where you're expected to win, but I'd rather have a job where you're not expected to win and turn it around," said Wade. "I've been raised with the knowledge that I can succeed at whatever I do. This was a great challenge, and I love challenges. And win or lose, I want us to get back on the bus and go home with our heads held high."
Pub Date: 3/13/97