Monday, February 19, 2018

Wismer Foundation

The Wismer Foundation was established to continue the legacy of John Wismer and promote his love of students and athletes. John leaves a legacy of fairness, steadfast consistency, and solid values, demonstrated throughout his life and in his roles as teacher, coach, husband, and father. Those who knew John best admired his integrity, incredible spirit, respect for people, and frankness.Born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, John developed a passion for sports from a very early age, and excelled in baseball, football and rugby.

He was the captain and most valuable player of his high school rugby team. From 1952 to 1955, while attending the University of Toronto to obtain his Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, John was a star centre for the Varsity Blues football team which won two Intercollegiate Championships. As one team-mate put it, "pound for pound, John Wismer was the best damn centre in the whole intercollegiate league during his era!"

He was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger Cats, traded to the Toronto Argonauts, and courted by the Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders. Although John was smaller than most offensive linemen, the kicker could always count on him firing the ball straight back with either hand, under any conditions. According to his coach, John was sometimes so spent after a game that his team-mates had to help him off with his jersey. Such tenacity and strength of character made John a successful coach and educator, in every sense.

In the summer of 1956, John traveled to Calgary to be the assistant office manager for the Calgary Stampeders. He was presented with an offer to stay on with the club after the summer to do third down snaps. Having already accepted a teaching position in Hamilton, he phoned the principal of the school where he was expected to start teaching in the fall and asked if he could start after football season ended. The answer was a resounding "no"! While John seemed destined for a career playing professional football, a greater love pulled him along a different path. In the fall of 1956, John began his career in education at Hamilton's Central Secondary School, where he taught and coached basketball and football for five years. In 1961, he moved to Barton Secondary School in Hamilton where he became Head of Physical Education. In 1968, John earned his Masters of Teaching (MAT) from Washington State University.

Before retiring in 1989, John had dedicated over three decades to coaching football teams and student athletes; he always referred to his players as "my boys." However, coaching football was only half of the equation. Since John was genuinely interested in each player as an individual, the other half was teaching the game of life, which meant being the very best person you could possibly be, both on and off the field. John was tough yet fair. He constantly challenged his athletes to give 100 percent all the time, and shared with them his firm belief that "success comes in cans, not cant's."

John was also an avid fisherman, gardener, and gourmet cook. His wife of 47 years, Betty, children Scott, Stacy, and Jay, and grandchildren Al, Elyse, Stefanie, Carly, Kyle, Jack, Tessa and Shane survive him.


 Contributions can be made to the Wismer Foundation through the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board~                  Mailing Address: PO Box 2558, Hamilton, Ont. L8N3L1 Please note on cheque: "John Wismer FUND" or                              make cheque payable to"Jay Wismer in trust for the Wismer Foundation" and mail to: Jay Wismer                                          17 Old Orchard Dr, Stoney  Creek, Ont. L8E 1E9 or contact: Stacy Wismer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Wismer Foundation Golf Tournament


The Wismer Foundation Golf Tournament and Coaching Award Presentation Dinner is the primary FUNDRAISER to support the foundation. This event hosts the presentation of the Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence. The tournament is being held on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at Carlisle Golf and Country Club located at 523 Carlisle Road, Carlisle, Ontario.

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Nomination deadline for the 15th Annual Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence is April 24, 2018. Nominations received after April 24th will be considered for the 2018/19 Award on May 28, 2019.


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