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Gables Baseball Says Goodbye to Longtime Coach Wisser

Former+baseball+coach+Phil+Wisser+%28middle%29+in+staff+photo.
Former baseball coach Phil Wisser (middle) in staff photo.

Former baseball coach Phil Wisser (middle) in staff photo.

Kelli Ann Willis

Kelli Ann Willis

Former baseball coach Phil Wisser (middle) in staff photo.

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After a ten-year run as a baseball coach at the school, alumnus, Phil Wisser resigned at the end of last school year. One of Wisser’s successes throughout his years here was transitioning players on the team from high school into college, and in rare cases even the professional level. Under Wisser’s leadership, the school has had at least one All-Dade County baseball player every year since 2010.

“I did the statistics last year, and in my 10 years coaching at Gables, 70 percent of my players went on to play college baseball,” Wisser said.

In the four years receding Wisser’s arrival, the school’s baseball team lost every season. Within three years of Wisser’s hiring, he transformed the varsity baseball team into district champions. During the 2016-2017 season, the varsity team made it to regional finals. Apart from bringing the team to regional finals, Wisser surpassed 200 wins in his coaching career in a game against Miami Senior High.

“Coaching baseball wasn’t the only thing he was good at; one of his main goals was to better us as people,” senior Alain Guerra said.

During his time at the school, Wisser organized many fundraising events, including domino tournaments and the baseball field trip. Both events collected money for the baseball team’s needs and brought students together.

The players sell empanadas every day during school lunch while working several hours a week at the University of Miami concession stand in order to reach the ideal amount of money for field maintenance, equipment, supplies, trips and gear.

“Without the money, it is hard for our program to grow, so I’m lucky we had someone who was able to help us reach our financial goals so we have a successful program,” junior Ernest Dennis said.

Leaving the school was not an easy decision, Wisser said but he has been thinking about moving away from the Miami area for some time. He will continue coaching baseball at St. Joseph Academy St. Augustine.

“I went to college in St. Augustine so I am familiar with the area. Along with wanting to make a location change, coming to a small private school definitely had its advantages. I have worked really hard during my time at Miami Springs and Coral Gables with fundraising and maintaining the field. The number one factor other than location was that being at a private school I didn’t have to worry about any of this,” Wisser said.

Apart from the advantages of coaching at St. Joseph Academy, not only will he be leaving the program that he has put a tremendous amount of time and effort into building, but he will also be leaving the team he has continuously nurtured since he joined in 2007.

“There are many things I’m going to miss but if I have to pick one, I would say it is the relationships I have built with the current players as well as the Gables staff and administration,” Wisser said.

Ernie Padron will be replacing Wisser as the head coach of the baseball team. Padron began coaching in 1990 at La Progresiva Presbyterian School for six years, but most notably started coaching at Florida Christian between 1998 and 2012. He also coached for a year at Coral Reef Senior High, a year at Terra Environmental Institute, as well as two years at Advanced Software Analysis (ASA) College.

The players have already met Padron and are adjusting to the new head coach before the season begins.

“The goal is for the players to excel in the classroom, first and foremost, and then excel on the baseball field and that’s going to springboard them into obtaining college opportunities,” Padron said.

Padron thinks the only way these goals will be able to be obtained is through the relationships that will eventually form between the coach and his players.

“The most important thing are the relationships we have in life, if there is no relationship, no form of communication, no matter how good of a coach you are, they aren’t going to believe in you and you aren’t going to get anything done,” Padron said.

Padron says he is particularly excited about the team’s tradition of sending most of their players to pursue college baseball. He says he felt honored to even be considered for Wisser’s position.

“There are very few other schools that have tradition of producing college players and professional players, so that was exciting to even be considered as a coach,” Padron said.

 

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The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School.
Gables Baseball Says Goodbye to Longtime Coach Wisser