Saturday, September 8, 2018

Lycoming's Wiser to receive the coveted Ray Keyes Award October 4th

A John Green 2012 file photo.
The Lycoming County Brotherhood Annual Citation Dinner will honor assistant head coach and defensive coordinator on Oct. 4 @5:30pm at the Genetti Hotel and Conference Center, 200 W. Fourth St. Wiser will receive the Ray Keyes Sports Award.

For the past 49 years, defense for the Lycoming College football team has had one constant - “The Wizard.”

Steve Wiser, who is entering his 45th year as an assistant coach for the Warriors, is more than a legend at Lycoming College. He was the architect of a defensive corps that changed the fortunes of the football program in the ‘70s before presiding over a damaging defense that has won 15 MAC titles in the last 39 years.

Wiser, who currently serves as the assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator, began his tenure as an assistant coach working with linebackers before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 1977.

Wiser has led the Warriors to the No. 1 national ranking in total defense twice during his tenure (1975, 1983). His teams have also posted nationally-leading numbers in rushing defense (1976, ’82 and ’87) and scoring defense (’99).

During his time at the College, the Warriors have posted a record of 322-143-5 (.690) while garnering 12 NCAA playoff appearances, including two trips to the national title game. His defense topped the MAC 18 times and has posted a total of 66 shutouts.

He coached two all-conference defensive players in 2017, an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and three Hampshire Honor Society selections.

The Warriors led the MAC in scoring defense for the third straight year in 2013 (18.3), also topping the league in total defense (304.0), rushing defense (91.4), interceptions (1.6), opponent first downs (15.6), red zone defense (0.692) and turnovers gained (2.3). Wiser also oversaw the development of All-Americans Dwight Hentz and Tanner Troutman, who was named the East Region Player of the Year after leading the nation in interceptions.

His defense led the MAC in scoring defense in 2012 (12.4), as the Warriors featured eight all-conference players on the defensive side of the ball and four all-region selections. In addition, Wiser helped mentor his second straight MAC Defensive Player of the Year in Kabongo Bukasa.

In 2011, he helped mentor a brick wall of a defense that helped pace the Warriors, leading the MAC in nearly all defensive categories and finished in the top 10 in the nation in pass efficiency defense, total defense, scoring defense, turnover margin and pass defense. He helped mentor two All-Americans in Ray Bierbach and Anthony Marascio, who became the first MAC Defensive Player of the Year in school history, and six all-conference honorees.

Along with his coaching duties, Wiser organizes the football program’s annual golf outing and ad sales for the gameday program, along with serving the community in a number of service and charity events.

A 1974 Lycoming graduate, Wiser excelled in wrestling and football, earning elections into the Lycoming Hall of Fame and the Bald Eagle Area High School Hall of Fame. He earned four letters while playing for the Warriors as a hard-nosed linebacker, earning two All-MAC honors.

As a wrestler, he placed second and third in the conference and earned a trip to the NCAA Small College Championships as a senior. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science before attending graduate classes in education at Marywood College, Wilkes College and Mansfield University.

Wiser taught social studies at Williamsport Area High School from 1974 until his retirement in 2006. He resides in Williamsport with his wife, Pam.