By Branson Fonnesbeck, Headliner Guest Columnist, November 10, 2021
My hope is to not undermine or make less of anyone who has helped me in my life. But today I’d like to give thanks to this man. Very few people, if any, outside of my immediate family have done more for me than Chris Wise. To his players he’s more than a coach. He’s a mentor, a confidant, a father, a friend. He’s the best of the best to have in your corner.
Even now, as years drift by and people go their separate ways, he is always there for them. Always.
His head football coaching career at Bear River High had to end sometime, just as every player inevitably has to leave behind their helmet and pads to move on to bigger and better things. Thank God, he taught us how to do that. It’s tough. It's where boyhood dreams transition into manhood. Because of him, I’m not stuck living in my high school glory days as many are. I was not only coached in a game but in life as well.
To those who disagreed with Chris Wise as a coach, I harbor no ill feelings towards you. We all have our own methodologies, and we don’t always agree with each other. To those who may have felt short-handed by something Chris did, I’m sorry you feel that way; life is never perfect. Over a 20-year career there are bound to be things overlooked and feelings hurt.
Most importantly, to the few "unsupportive community members" who orchestrated Coach Wise’s ousting, I feel the most sorrow for you. I’m sorry you sheltered your boys. I wish you would have allowed them to grow up with his tutelage. It’s not easy. Everyone has a “Coach Wise” story where their eyebrows were singed, and their pride was shook by a zealous correction. Maybe you were even benched.
Things aren’t sugar-coated and corners aren’t cut. That’ll make a man out of a boy. That’ll make a Bear River Bear. I wish a few more young men could have experienced that. My time with Coach Wise is one of the most valuable experiences I’ll ever have in life. Thank you, Coach. I love you.
Good luck to the new head coach. We all should support him. He has un-fillable shoes to fill. Wise is King! - Branson Fonnesbeck, November 10, 2021
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