Wiseman steps down as lacrosse coach to focus on family and work

John Wiseman at a Wilton High boys lacrosse practice earlier this season. — GretchenMcMahonPhotography.com
John Wiseman at a Wilton High boys lacrosse practice earlier this season. — GretchenMcMahonPhotography.com

After 10 years at the helm, John Wiseman this week announced he was stepping down as head coach of the Wilton High varsity boys lacrosse team.

Wiseman said the demands of his job and his family in recent years had made it difficult to fulfill his coaching duties.

“It has gotten a lot more challenging,” he said of trying to juggle lacrosse and his off-the-field commitments. “The responsibilities and demands of high school coaching go beyond the field. They need someone who can do that.”

Wiseman took over as head coach in the 2009 season, replacing Paul McNulty, who had been coach for 13 years after following the program’s founder and first coach, Guy Whitten.

Over his tenure. Wilton has compiled a record of 129-73, reaching the state finals three times, and winning state championships in 2011 and 2013. The team has reached the FCIAC semifinals six times and state semifinals six times.

Wiseman has been part of Wilton lacrosse for four decades. He was an all-American defenseman for Wilton’s 1986 FCIAC champions, and was the recipient of the Lt. John G. Corr Award his senior year. He went on to play at Duke University, where he was a four-year starter on defense and the team's captain his final two seasons.

Wiseman served as a part-time assistant coach under Whitten from 1987 to 1990, and was one of Whitten's full-time assistants in 1993. He ran the winter indoor program from 1997 through 2002.

He has coached youth lacrosse and youth football over the past two decades, too, and had helped his wife Cindy as an assistant coach for the Wilton girls lacrosse team for many years.

“I’ve been involved in coaching for more than 30 years. We coach because we love coaching and we love kids,” he said. “We’re all really proud of the program. It means everything to be able to play here and play under coach Whitten. You want to give back. When you’re given much, much is expected.”

Wiseman, who has three sons (two in high school next year), said he will continue to coach in the youth football ranks, and will always be part of Wilton lacrosse, whether he’s coaching or not.

“I have incredible memories. I will always have them and be thankful for my time in Wilton and for what Wilton and the program have given me.”