- June 23, 2021
Brody Wiseman's dedication to Sarasota football was so great that he ran his real estate business out of the team's field house.
He didn't want to leave.
It amounted to 60-hour work weeks, something the 28-year-old Wiseman, the program's offensive coordinator, didn't mind. He loved being around the program, he said. Eventually, he was putting in more time with the kids than he was his business, so he decided to make a change: He sold his business with the intent to make coaching his life's work.
"It's what I was the happiest doing," Wiseman said.
The move worked out, though as Wiseman admits, it worked in a bittersweet way. Spencer Hodges, the Sarasota High football coach and one of Wiseman's best friends, stepped down from the program for personal reasons May 28 after two seasons, for personal reasons.
Wiseman said the move came as a surprise and that he will miss learning from Hodges, who led the program to its first winning season in 13 years, especially on matters involving the running game and the intricacies of offensive line play.
"He gave me a chance to do things a lot of assistants don't get the chance to do, like work on scheduling," Wiseman said. "I'm thankful for that. I'm going to miss going in there and talking ball with him all day."
The move also opened up the possibility for Wiseman, 28, to take the next step. Shortly after Hodges announced his decision, Wiseman was named the team's interim head coach.
Wiseman, who played high school football at The Out-of-Door Academy, said he could not have picked a better program to start this phase of his career. The program upgraded its weight room under Hodges, a key to developing players, and has a deep pool of players. More than 135 kids signed up for football tryouts this summer, Wiseman said. That's normal for many Class 7A schools, but it has not been at Sarasota, where interest in the game was depleted in the years before Hodges' arrival. It will allow the Sailors to field a freshman football team, something Wiseman said will allow young players to get playing time they otherwise would not get. If a kid quits football because he's not getting chances, Wiseman said, he and his coaches will never know what type of player he could have become with proper training.
"I think people are realizing it is cool to play football at Sarasota High," Wiseman said. "People are realizing you do not have to leave the city to get developed properly as a player. That was not always the case. It was something Spencer (Hodges) made a focus, getting people to college. This year we had 17 seniors end up somewhere. It is something I will continue to make a priority in the future."
It's a sentiment Wiseman has continued with his coaching staff hires. A school that is cool to play for would have alumni wanting to give back, and Wiseman has secured former Sailors Tyrell Burton and Josh Moffitt as assistant coaches. Together, Wiseman said, the staff will dedicate itself to bettering the program and the surrounding community, whether that is through on- or off-field success.
"A lot of programs talk about being a family, but not a lot of them are successful at doing that," Wiseman said. "That word, family, means so many different things to different people depending on their backgrounds. Here, we define family as "F.A.M.I.L.Y," or "Forget about me, I love you." This is not about yourself, it's about everyone else and what you can do for them."