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Talk n Text hires another American coach

neth_rowneth_row PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
Phone Pals tap CBA vet to replace Bayno
From one American coach to another
By Dave Coros, Manila Bulletin
October 18, 2002

FROM ONE American coach to another. Or is it from one hothead to the next?

After weeks of searching in the United States, Talk 'N Text team manager Frankie Lim has finally netted CBA veteran Paul Woolpert to replace compatriot Bill Bayno at the reins of the Phone Pals in the PBA's season-ending All-Filipino Cup.

No less than Manny Pangilinan, top honcho of Philippine Long Distance Co. which owns the team, announced the most-awaited news of the pro league break yesterday morning before the Phone Pals held practice at noon at the Reyes gym in Mandaluyong.

Woolpert, the seventh coach in the franchise's history, takes the place of Bayno, who abandoned the Phone Pals after a short but controversial stint in the local pro league.

Woolpert coached the Yakima Sun Kings in the Continental Basketball Association from 1997 to 2001. He led the team to the championship during the 1999-2000 season before accepting a coaching job from rival Sioux Falls Sky Force the following year.

He is the winningest coach in team history, surpassing his mentor Mo McHone's total with his 77th victory in Dec. 1999. He has also coached in the league's All-Star game twice.

Woolpert joined Yakima as an assistant to McHone in 1995, when the Sun Kings won their first-ever championship with a 36-20 mark and a six-game win over the Pittsburgh Piranhas in the finals.

He was set to return to Sun Kings this coming season, according to the team's web site, when then offer from the Phone Pals came.

In fact, the Sun Kings' website was already anticipating a 'happy return' for Woolpert at Yakima when the coach made an apparent change of heart.

Woolpert, who graduated from the University of Portland, started his career as a scout and video coordinator for the Seattle Super-Sonics. He also worked as a scout for the Portland Trail Blazers before taking his act to the CBA.

His father, Phil, is a Hall of Fame coach who led the University of San Francisco to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956.

Among the PBA imports who have played under Woolpert in the CBA are Silas Mills, Kwan Johnson, Art Long, Rosell Ellis, Shawn Harvey and Carlos Daniels.

But Woolpert's reputation may have preceded him here.

According to sources familiar with the CBA veteran, Woolpert has cut a reputation as a 'hothead' in a colorful stint in the CBA where he compiled a career record of 122-94 (win-loss) over five years.

If that is the case, the pro league can hardly expect a respite with the departure of Bayno, the former University of Las Vegas coach who, in two conferences in the PBA, caused quite a stir with accusations and comments that cost him over P250,000 in record fines.

Woolpert is reportedly arriving this week with Lim. His arrival is expected to spark a new round of protest from the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines, which also objected to the hiring of Bayno.

Once he arrives, Woolpert will have only a few days to get acquainted with his team before the Phone Pals play their first game of the All-Filipino Cup against Sta. Lucia Realty on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.



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