Someone had to be first.
Since the birth of basketball in the YMCA's of New England at the dawn of the 20th century, the game has known many great coaches. Each makes his own contributions to the sport, others learn from his successes and build on what they've learned to make their own mark on the game. However, there was a time when there was no one to learn from, no successes to emulate. Someone had to be first.
When basketball was in its infancy, many men saw the sport's potential for building physical fitness and good character in young men. But one man possessed the rare combination of skill, passion and charisma that came together in unique circumstances to produce basketball's first great coach. Ernest Blood developed a system of training boys that dominated basketball in a way like none other before or since. Affectionately called "Prof" Blood," the game's first coaching phenom amassed a mind-boggling 159-game win streak spanning five years with his teams at New Jersey's Passaic High School. It was no wonder his teams were dubbed the "Wonder Teams."
Like many transcendent success stories, this one is rife with controversy and adversity, jealousy, and battles of wills. At the heart of it all, though, you will find a coach whose greatness is not merely measured by his extraordinary record, but also by his deep love of the game, unquestionable values and a desire to help boys become men of integrity and honor.
This is his story.
Prof. Ernest Blood
In The Press
"Everyone who is a hoops fan certainly is aware of the Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden, and his many achievements at UCLA. But not many are familiar with a New Jersey Wizard and his Wonder Teams in Passaic, NJ, namely Professor Ernest Blood. This text by Chic Hess is fascinating as it details Blood's brilliant accomplishments plus his passion for the game. The research by Hess is mind boggling as he takes you on a journey with the Wonder Team and its taskmaster, Professor Ernest Blood. A brilliant story documented by many specific incidents which provides you a complete understanding of how dominant this this Passaic, NJ high school team was."
Basketball Analyst for ESPN, ABC
by Dr. Charles "Chic" Hess
Hardcover, 2003 ISBN 0-9664459-4-5
Professor Ernest Blood was a generation ahead of his time. His coaching record of 1268-165 does not fully explain his excellence as a coach. His major flaw was winning too much. His biography explains why he is the most extraordinary of all Basketball Hall of Fame members.
About the Author
Dr. Charles "Chic" Hess
Chic and his seven siblings were born and raised in Southwest Philadelphia. After moving to the suburbs, Chic played his high school basketball at Bishop Egan High School, a member of the Northern Division of the Philadelphia Catholic League. He later played for legendary coach, Howie Landa at Trenton Junior College before moving on to East Stroudsburg University to earn both his bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. Eventually, Hess received his doctorate in education from Brigham Young University, where he was named class valedictorian.
While teaching and coaching in the Pennsbury, Loyalsock
Township, and Lebanon School Districts in Pennsylvania, Hess's teams accumulated a distinguished 230-81 record, and