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Waterloo boys basketball coach Jason Wise resigns

Waterloo boys basketball coach Jason Wise resigns


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


Jason Wise has spent the last 30 years coaching basketball at Waterloo High School.

On Tuesday, the longtime coach and Vikings graduate announced his resignation.

Wise has spent the last 11 seasons as the program’s head coach. He has posted a career record of 137-131 and winning back-to-back league championships in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The 2019-20 team, which was led by standouts Caleb Francis, Max Adelman, Vaughn Dorsey, Joe Ward and Kyle Shockley, had its remarkable postseason run cut short by COVID-19.

The Vikings had advanced all the way to the Division III regional final with a dominating 72-47 victory in the regional semifinal against LaBrae.

The regional final against Warrensville Heights scheduled for March 14, 2020, though, never happened.

This season, Waterloo was 15-7 overall and 11-3 in the MVAC.

Wise replaced longtime coach John Herchek after the Hall of Fame coach’s 33-year career.

During last August’s court dedication to Herchek, Wise, whose first memory of Waterloo basketball dates back to when he was 6 years old, said, “Coach Herchek was basketball to me.”

Herchek later joined Wise’s staff as an assistant coach, supporting his former player and former assistant coach — as Wise joined the Vikings’ staff under Herchek starting in the 1993-94 season.

Remarkably, between Herchek and Wise, along with Hall of Fame coach Fred Brookover, who had a legendary career and preceded Herchek, the Waterloo boys basketball program has had three coaches over the last 61 years.

Brookover, who the gymnasium is named after, coached from 1962-63 through 1978-79, then Herchek guided the Likes from 1979 through 2012, with Wise joining the ranks for the last 11 seasons.

Waterloo athletic director Mike Devies offered his appreciation for Wise’s career and also their friendship.

“Jason was not only someone I could share ideas with, but he was also a very dear friend,” Devies said. I’m going to miss walking into the gym everyday after school and seeing him and having our daily talks. All the little things he did for kids behind the scene, and all the love that he has for our kids, will be hard to replace.”

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