A house that produces one college football player is not exactly common, so a family that has four college football players, all of whom play the same position, must live on Unicorn Drive.
Dallas Cowboys rookie free agent defensive lineman Daniel Wise, who went to Hebron High School, is one of the three sons who earned a college scholarship to be a Division I defensive lineman. His father, Deatrich Wise Sr., was a defensive lineman at Jackson State who was a draftee of the Seattle Seahawks and played in the NFL, CFL and Arena League.
“I never talked about my career to them. There was nothing really around the house from when I played,” Wise Sr. said in a phone interview. “We were in an airport one time and someone said something to me about me playing. One of my kids said, ‘You did that? You played?’ I never wanted them to live through me. I wanted them to do it on their own. To do it themselves.”
His oldest son, Deatrich Wise Jr., played at Arkansas, was drafted by the New England Patriots, and has been a regular for that team in each of the last two years.
Daniel Wise earned a scholarship to Kansas, and a was a first-team all Big 12 player in each of the last two years. He signed with the Cowboys as a free agent after the 2019 draft.
The youngest son, Solomon Wise, is a redshirt senior defensive end at Texas-San Antonio.
That’s three college educations for free. Happy Father’s Day to Deatrich Wise Sr.
A LIFE OF COACHING
Even when Deatrich Wise Sr. is not coaching, he’s coaching. After a 15 minute visit, you’re only 98 percent sure you can win ... whatever it is that you do.
“Playing football is not about the NFL. It’s about a good college education; get a degree and leaving school with some accomplishments,” he said. “So when you can’t find your way, you can say, ‘This is nothing. I did this.’ You want to keep accomplishing so you know you can.”
His father went into coaching after he was done playing pro ball with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena League in the mid ‘90s.
“I never knew that he really played until I was in high school,” Daniel Wise said after Cowboys’ mini-camp practice on Thursday.
When his father’s playing career was over, he went into the “family business” of coaching and teaching.
By that point, he had married his wife, Sheila, who was in the military and could re-locate anywhere. Wise coached pro ball to college to high school to middle school from Jackson State, Tampa, Delaware, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Norfolk, Virginia, and eventually settled in DFW.
He coached at Coppell West, and helped at the Michael Johnson Performance Center, before taking a break. He currently teaches at Seagoville Elementary.
“I wanted to see Deatrich’s senior year (at Arkansas), and Daniel’s last year at Kansas, and not neglect our youngest son at UTSA,” Wise Sr. said. “I got an opportunity to step away from (coaching) a little bit so I did. I’m sure I’ll go back but we wanted to see as many of their games as we could.”
THE WISE MEN
Like any growing family, the Wise kids fought, and competed. They just happened to be a bit bigger.
“It wasn’t anything bad,” Daniel Wise said. “It was healthy competition.”
Competing against mom and dad, however, was not a good idea. Playing mom against dad, or dad against mom, was a wall of defeat.
“You couldn’t because we were on the same page about everything,” Wise Sr. said. “We always supported each other. We are the ying-and-yang. We’ve been together for 28 years. There could not have been a better balance.”
As a military mom, Sheila Wise didn’t suffer much.
None of their three sons was pushed or directed into sports, particularly football. Daniel Wise was a long distance runner and played soccer; he didn’t shift to football until middle school. He was not a linemen until his sophomore year of high school.
“Dad was always my ‘coach’ and he would constantly tell us things and work with us, but only if we wanted it,” Wise said.
By that point, all of the Wise kids were growing rapidly and required constant food. The parents became short order cooks.
“I was pushing groceries and someone said, ‘Coach, you getting ready for a party?’” Wise Sr. said. “That was just an ante up; that wasn’t the big one. You’d have to have two meals ready every night. When they all left, I swear I got a pay raise.”
Two of the three Wise boys are college graduates, and the third is en route. They are self sufficient, and full of accomplishments.
Whatever Deatrich Wise Sr. accomplished as a player or a coach, and whatever Sheila Wise accomplished in the military, will not top what they did together with their three sons.
A job well done, and a Happy Father’s Day.