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Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Waterloo boys basketball coach Jason Wise

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Waterloo boys basketball coach Jason Wise


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The “Getting to Know” series is designed to help the community learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Today, we get to know Waterloo High School boys basketball head coach Jason Wise, who is in his 10th year as the head coach of the Vikings and his 29th year overall with the boys basketball program.

Q: What schools did you attend growing up?

A: Waterloo Elementary, Junior High and High School (Class of 1993). Played basketball.


Q: Current occupation?

A: Family business.


Q: What inspired you to be a coach? 

A: Fred Brookover and John Herchek thought I would be good at it. I had never given it any thought.


Q: What makes being a coach at Waterloo special to you?

A: It’s special because it’s my school. I played in the program and it was always consistent! You always knew who was going to be your coach and what was expected of you. We were always told there were higher standards for us to uphold as players and students. I respected that.

Q: Who has been your biggest influence?

A: Coach Herchek. I played for him and coached with him as an assistant for 20 years. His knowledge of the game and trust we have in each other makes the game much easier.


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?

A: Not sure I have a funny story, but I was a 5-foot-6, 110-pound senior that didn’t [play much, but I got yelled at as much as anyone playing.


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?

A: In my third season, I broke my hand at halftime punching a whiteboard. I thought it was going to spin and it didn’t. I am not sure if that is funny, stupid or both.

Waterloo head coach Jason Wise speaks to his team during a timeout on Friday in Rootstown, where the Vikings defeated the rival Rovers 58-42.
Tom Nader/Portage Sports

Q: Favorite TV show?

A: That 70’s Show and 2 1/2 Men (the Charlie Sheen years).


Q: Favorite movie?

A: White Men Can’t Jump.


Q: Favorite musical artist?

A: Kid Rock.


Q: Favorite food?

A: Lasagna.


Q: Best vacation?

A: Annual Vegas trip.


Q: Favorite quote?

A: “You win with people.” — Woody Hayes.


Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?

A: I am not sure I have a true philosophy, but I think we adapt to our talent yearly and sometimes game to game.


Q: What does it mean to you to be a Vikings student-athlete?

A: To represent your school, community and parents at a high level. I still believe we hold our athletes to a very high standard. As coaches and athletes, it is something we take great pride in.


Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: Yellow Tail in Vegas.


Q: Favorite teacher in high school?

A: Fred Brookover and Kenny Kline.


Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: John Herchek.


Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Cleveland Cavaliers.


Q: Favorite athlete then?

A: Michael Jordan.


Q: Favorite athlete now?

A: Jarrett Allen.


Q: First job as a teenager?

A: K-Mart.


Q: Family member that always gave you the best advice?

A: My parents and my brothers.


Q: First car?

A: Mercury Lynx with a pillow on the seat so I could see.


Q: Shoutout to former teammates?

A: It’s a very long list. I think at Waterloo, we think everyone that played in the program is a former teammate and many of us still play golf together weekly.

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