Alumni Spotlight: Ed Waite’s Return to the Sideline


[ot-caption title=”In his final season in a Panther Uniform, Ed Waite averaged over 14 points and 13 rebounds, while helping lead Pine Crest to a 3A State Championship and a top 5 overall state ranking. (Via Ed Waite, c/o 2009)” url=””]

When you walk around Pine Crest’s Upper School Campus, it’s clear that Ed Waite and Brandon Knight left a huge impact well after their departure. Walk into the men’s locker room and you will see the walls donned with pictures of the duo dominating the court. Travel into the foyer of Stacy Gym and you will really see the legacy that these two had on Pine Crest Basketball, as the majority of the trophies carry their moniker. Finally, enter Stacy Gym, where these two would draw sellout crowds every time they played here, and see the state championship banners, the player of the year posters, and the wall of records showing the unbelievable individual accomplishments that they achieved. If you weren’t around during the “glory days”, in which Ed Waite and Brandon knight led the Pine Crest basketball team to 4 straight final fours, including back-to-back state titles, you can still get a taste of history just by walking through Pine Crest. Throughout all of the accolades and records, one thing remains clear: these two are PC legends. Now one of the legends has returned to his roots where he has taken on a new and unexpected role: assistant basketball coach. Yes, the same Ed Waite who used to wow fans with his thunderous dunks and rugged rebounds is now Coach Ed Waite, teaching kids who are now on the same path that he once took. With his inaugural season as coach almost complete, I had the chance to sit down with Coach Ed and talk about his transition from player to coach and what he’s been able to learn along the way.


T1: After playing basketball in high school and then 4 years at college, what is it like being on the same court you once dominated, but now viewing it from a different perspective?

Ed: It’s just different. It’s definitely a learning experience to be on another aspect of it all.

T1: You and Brandon [Knight] had a storied run together, going to 4 straight final fours and back to back state championships, what would it be like for you to have the same type of run but from the sideline as a coach?

Ed: A true blessing.

T1: Do you still keep in touch with any of the players from your time here?

Ed: I speak to quite a few of them from time to time; everyone is so busy living their own lives.

T1: What drew you back to Pine Crest?

Ed: I coached at Pine Crest basketball camp in the summer so it’s like I’m always here. I enjoy working with the elementary school kids because of their desire to improve their game.

T1: What was your favorite part about Pine Crest?

Ed: The family feel that I get when I step on campus. I still feel the same way until this day. Its like I never left.

T1: How has the adjustment been from player to coach?

Ed: Easy because I was already a student of the game from back in my playing days. We watched a lot of film in college so I have seen just about every defense on earth so its like second nature.

T1: Do you find any similarities between the two? (playing and coaching)

Ed: Yes coaches and players have to know the same plays and the same defensive schemes in order to be successful.

T1: How have you been able to learn on the fly, as this is your first full year coaching basketball?

Ed: I coached last year half the season and it was ok. Coaching is one of those things that you love or you hate because of its ups and its downs.

T1: A great coach is a vocal one, how do you feel that your time under Coach Beckerman and playing 4 years of Division 1 college basketball (at Monmouth) have prepared you to be a great coach?

Ed: I don’t consider myself to be a great coach. After playing and watching basketball for many years I have gained knowledge from both perspectives. Coach B has been an influential mentor in my life, not only playing under his supervision but also at his side calling plays. He has always instilled hard work in everything that you do and that has pushed me to continue my passion.

T1: What tips has Coach Beckerman given you to succeed as a coach?

Ed: He always taught me to implement “the first three minutes of the second half is the most important part of the game because it sets the tone for the rest of the game.” I think it is so true because if you come out slow in the beginning of the second half, the other team will have the advantage. It’s hard to come back in such a short amount of time late in the game.

T1: Is coaching a profession that you plan on sticking with, or do you have other aspirations?

Ed: At the moment I don’t know for sure but I do have other aspirations that are slowly but surely going to come to pass.

T1: A new big man has emerged as a leader and a potential next level star in Antonio Vrankovic. What tips would you give him as far as handling the college recruitment process and how to stay grounded throughout it all?

Ed: I would recommend a potential next level star to choose his college wisely. I would tell him to go somewhere that he would play right away; where he would gain experience, knowledge, and exposure. Not only on the court but also in his career choices, he should choose a college which best fits all his needs. Determine what colleges really want you and are going to utilize you as soon as you come in as freshmen. Basketball will keep you grounded because of the time and effort required continuously.

T1: How vividly do you remember your 32-rebound game?

Ed: I don’t remember the 32 rebound game vividly because it was so long ago; almost eight years ago.

T1: Do you ever step onto this court and wish you could play one more game in a Pine Crest uniform?

Ed: Nope, my time has come and gone and I’ll leave it that way.


Only time will tell if Coach Ed will continue to carry on his legacy at Pine Crest, but it is certainly clear that although it is his first year coaching, he does not consider himself a rookie in the profession. We wish Ed the best of luck as this season comes to a close and can only hope more Pine Crest legends continue to give back like Ed has done.