MISS recently had the chance to chat with Jackson Prep's Head Varsity Boys' coach Tim Wise. Coach Wise graduated high school from Memphis University School. He then graduated from Millsaps in 1989 after competing in basketball and golf. After graduating from Millsaps coach Wise has started a 30 year journey in the coaching profession. His first stop was at St. Benedict High School in Cardova, TN. While there he taught Economics, American government, and elementary PE. He also was head Boys' basketball and baseball coach. He accomplished this all at the age of 21. In 1992 he returned to his high school alma mater to teach and coach. He was the assistant varsity boys' basketball coach and head junior varsity baseball coach. He taught 7th/8th grade math. Next he returned to Millsaps as an assistant men's basketball coach; under coach John Stroud. He also coached golf upon his return. He became men's head basketball coach in 2003 and stayed in the position until 2017. He became interim athletic director in 2006 and kept the position until 2014. He then moved to Jackson Prep where he has held his current position for three years.
Wise feels that teaching the game is the same at all levels. He feels that his programs no matter the level should be based on three anchors. The three anchors are ball security/toughness, great shot selection, and outstanding team defense. He feels if his teams can do these four things they can compete on a daily basis. His teams strive to improve daily. He has a unique perspective on the game. He feels that it is not the team that makes the most exceptional plays that wins the game it is the team that makes the fewest mistakes. This belief works hand and hand with the three anchors are the beliefs of competing at all times with the greatness of intensity, class, sportsmanship, and respect of the game.
When asked about influences he feels that one should try and glean and take from all those who work under or above you. One influence of his is his high school coach. Coach Jerry Peters coached as MUS for 50 years. Wise states that he was a legendary/iconic figure in Memphis, all of Tennessee, and the Southeast region of independent schools. He won over 1,000 games in the public/private division of the TSAA. He was the guru of the 1-3-1 defense. His attention to detail was phenomenal and wise states that he uses these principals in all aspects of his life. Coach Stroud from Millsaps taught him the importance of in game adjustments and had and was great at calling the right plays at the end of the game. Wise also states coach Dick Bennett, coach Tony Bennett, the late coach Don Meyer from Lipscomb, and coach John Wooden have been influences in his coaching philosophy. He also learned the importance of detail in life from coach Belien. He values Brad Stevens for his intllegence and demeanor used in his approach. In the state of Mississippi he likes what Jay Ladner has done at USM. He feels that Ladner is a great communicator and always has his players ready to compete. He concluded the discussion on philosophy by saying it is not what you know; it is how you do it. It is more what you emphasize rather than what you teach. He also said it is also handy to have a pen and paper near by when x-ing and o-ing.
He says the future of Prep basketball will always be to develop young men with the intended goal of improving daily as people and basketball players. Part of improving as a Prep player is getting better in shooting, passing, catching, and dribbling with purpose these are foundations of the game. He strives to his players to not put value in the score book but rather place values on the pillars of the program; which were taken from coach Dick Bennett. Those pillars are unity, serventhood, humility, passion,and thankfulness. With these the program feels it can accomplish special things.
MISS would like to thank coach Wise for chatting with us. I helped our coaching staff with advance scouting Prep two years ago. He is phenomenal at the x-s and o-s. I feel he is one of the most underrated coaches in the association.