Paul Wiedeman leaves a paper trail around the house, sheets and scraps inscribed with projected lineup combinations and newly imagined offensive sets.
“My wife will find them and say, ‘What are you doing?’ ” Wiedeman said. “I tell her, ‘My mom used to find the same thing with my dad.’”
“Like father, like son” fits the Wiedemans of Haddonfield basketball, especially when it comes to painstaking preparation, coaching acumen, and won-loss success.
But somebody has to be No. 1 on the family career wins list.
Dave Wiedeman earned most of his 472 victories in South Jersey on the Haddonfield bench, including more than 50 with his son Paul as the team’s point guard.
Paul Wiedeman has won all 469 of his career victories as Haddonfield’s coach, almost all of them with his father in the stands as his team’s most passionate fan.
“He’s my biggest supporter,” Paul Wiedeman said. “He’s always been my role model. I’m not here, doing this, if not for him.”
If form holds in the first two rounds of the South Jersey Group 2 tournament, Paul Wiedeman will be in position to tie his father for career victories in South Jersey basketball in Friday’s sectional semifinals.
And the Bulldawgs coach would notch career win No. 473 – one more than his father earned in two stints at Eastern as well as a long run at Haddonfield -- if his team captured its second
straight South Jersey title.
Although as far as Dave Wiedeman is concerned, his son passed him a long time ago as a coach.
“He’s better than I was,” Dave Wiedeman said. “What he’s done has been remarkable, and I don’t say that because he’s my son. I see it from a coach’s eyes.”
At 78, Dave Wiedeman doesn’t miss much. He’s a
t every Haddonfield game and he’s an unofficial scout for the Bulldawgs as well.
“He’s out at games all the time,” Paul Wiedeman said. “He knows everything that’s going on, North Jersey, the brackets, everything.
“He’s still a basketball junkie.”
The sport has been a bond between the Wiedemans nearly since the 47-year-old Paul’s birth. He used to watch his older brothers, Mike and Vic, on the court and tag along with his father on game days, at practice sessions, and on scouting trips.
“I hung around my dad all the time,” Paul Wiedeman said. “I just grew up watching games, going to Camden and Atlantic City, Florence, Willingboro with my dad. We’d take tours all over the place.”
Paul Wiedeman was a senior point guard for his father in 1989, when Haddonfield won its first 31 games and captured the Group 1 state title.
That was the first year of the Tournament of Champions, and Haddonfield lost to Eastern – which featured Syracuse-bound guard Michael Edwards – by a 56-54 score in the first round.
Haddonfield had beaten Eastern, 109-64, in the regular season.
“The last ball game, what a terrible job I did,” Dave Wiedeman said. “It still beats me up.”
Paul Wiedeman remembers details of that game at Rutgers – “[Matt] Maloney had a late look,” he recalls of the future Penn star and NBA player – but doesn’t seem as haunted as his father remains of his last high school game.
“I see myself more as a coach now,” Paul Wiedeman said. “Losing just ate my dad up. Even now, when we lose, it hurts him more than me.
“I’ve got some of that in me, but now that I’ve gotten a little older and I remember what he went through, I’ve got to take a deep breath sometimes and relax.”
Tom Betley, a star on Dave Wiedeman’s 1973 Group 1 state championship team at Haddonfield who has been a longtime follower of the program, said father and son have one trait in common: dogged determination to work as hard as necessary to prepare the team.
“I don’t think we ever took the floor without being completed prepared,” Betley said. “It’s the same way with Paul’s teams.”
Dave Wiedeman, who attended Palmyra High School in the mid 1950s, was a more accomplished player than his youngest son. He was a standout at Wake Forest, starting in the backcourt with television analyst Billy Packer for a Demon Deacons team that made the 1962 Final Four.
Paul Wiedeman was a top high school player and a polished point guard for a Rowan University team that made the NCAA Division III semifinals in 1993.
But he has made his deepest impact as a coach. In his 20th season, he has led Haddonfield to 14 Colonial Conference titles as well as six sectional titles and four state titles.
This season the Bulldawgs are 25-1 and loom as strong contenders to add to those championship totals.
And to lift their coach to the top spot in his family in South Jersey coaching victories.
“I’m just trying to do my part to keep his legacy,” Paul Wiedeman said of his father. “I don’t want to let down what he had built up over the years.
“It’s like, in his honor I’ve got to keep his legacy going.”
South Jersey boys’ basketball coaching victories
Paul Rodio, St. Augustine 930*
Paul Collins, Willingboro/Riverside/Burlington City 775*
Clarence Turner, Camden 775
Tom Feraco, Middle Twp. 719
Jim Crawford, Camden Catholic 713
John Valore, Cherry Hill East/Cumberland/Camden/Holy Cross 689*
Joe Kessler, Shawnee 681*
Lou Schantz, Salem 625
Bill Hiltner, Sterling 523
Ken Faulkner, Burlington Twp. 521
Ken Leary, Pleasantville 519
Dave Wiedeman, Haddonfield/Eastern 472
Paul Wiedeman, Haddonfield 469*