By Robbin Kiser
January 14, 2014
Who: Kent Wise
* Graduated from Piqua High School (1981) — first class to graduate from new high school.
* Varsity Letterman in Baseball, Basketball & Cross Country
* Played 1st base for Hall of Fame Coach Jim Hardman. Also played for Post 184 American Legion.
* Starting guard on the 1980-81 Miami Central Conference Champions - Most successful season in school history, going 21-3. Coached by Hall of Fame coach Dave Zeller. Set school’s single-season assist and field goal accuracy records.
* Went on to play basketball for Edison State College for two seasons.
* Played fastpitch softball for nine years with the Piqua Fastballers. The Fastballers played competitively in several national tournaments while traveling to Washington, Missouri, Florida,Wisconsin and Canada.
* Kent got his teaching degree from Wright State University, then taught Social Studies and coached junior varsity boys basketball and varsity girls softball at Newton High School in Pleasant Hill.
* Kent has been a high school basketball coach for 17 years including nine years as a head coach.
* Became a varsity boys head basketball coach at age 25 at Union High School in Modoc, Indiana. In his second season at Union High School, Wise led the Rockets to their second-best season in over a decade.
*Also coached the varsity baseball team at Union.
*Kent’s second head coaching experience took me to Centerville High School in Centerville, Indiana, where his squad recorded the school’s first winning record in eight years finishing 12-9. Included in their banner year was a Wayne County Tournament Championship, which
was the first for the Bulldogs in five seasons. That season, Wise was also selected to be the Wayne County All-Star Coach. Wise also served as an assistant track coach and football public address announcer.
*His basketball career moved Kent and his wife Lynn to Terre Haute for the next eight years. He was the head coach at South Vermillion High School for four seasons where one of his players became the school’s all-time leading scorer, as well as one of the state’s all-time leading three point shooters. Throughout Wise’s tenure, the Wildcats advanced to the championship game of the rugged Terre Haute Sectional for three of the four years, while also capturing the Wabash
River Conference Championship outright for the first time in school history. In his final season, the team produced the second-best record ever at South Vermillion.Wise received the Twin County Coach of the Year Award, and with these successes, he became the second-
winningest coach in the school’s history.
*Terre Haute South called on Wise to be an assistant for the next three years while he earned his Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana State University. Wise had the opportunity to coach alongside Indiana’s winningest active coach, Hall-of-Famer Pat Rady.
During his three seasons as a Braves Assistant, the South Braves won the 1997 sectional title before falling to eventual State Champion Bloomington North in the Regional in the final year of one-class basketball in Indiana.
*Kent’s dream of coming home and coaching at Piqua came true for the 1999-2000 school year.
His Indian squad was playing its best basketball of the year at the end of the season, with a regular season-ending victory at Tipp City (in which afterward Wise and his staff fulfilled a promise they made to the team to walk home — over 15 miles if the team won). The Indians followed that performance up with the school’s first sectional tournament game victory in some eight years.
He was a National Junior Honor Society, Faculty Council Member and Youth for Justice Advisor at the new Junior High. Unfortunately, Wise soon came to realize that the administration did not share his vision and philosophy of what it would take to build a quality basketball program in Piqua, so he moved back to the Hoosier State.
*While teaching at Rushville, IN, Kent directs the Project Africa Buddy project. His classes have raised over $15,000 to sponsor 2 African children over the last 13 years. He has also led several groups to Wasington, DC and New York for educational field trips.
*He coached two years at Rushville, before deciding to coach his children on their various basketball, baseball and softball teams. He is currently coaching his youngest son’s fifth grade travel basketball team. Kent and his wife Lynn reside in Greenfield, Indiana along with their children Darren (junior at Purdue majoring in Industrial Engineering); Kristen (sophomore at Purdue majoring in Financial Planning); Madison (freshman at Greenfield-Central High School);
and Cameron (fifth graderrader at Greenfield Intermediate School). Kent is also active in the church, as he currently serves as the Assistant Director for Upward Basketball at Park Chapel Christian Church.