Brian Wiseman has known what he wanted to do with his life, professionally, since he was a young boy.
"Ever since I was a little kid, I had an interest in muscular cartoon characters, like the Incredible Hulk," Wiseman, a Southern Illinois grad, smiled. "When I got to college, I wondered how I could get into training athletes. To my surprise, it was a real profession. I knew that's what I wanted to do and went about getting involved."
Brian said he became a volunteer strength coach at SIU and tried to soak up as much as he could in reaching his goal of being an S & C coach.
"I bugged the guys in the weight room at SIU until they let me get involved," he said. "I basically just cleaned the weight room for a semester and then, gradually, I hung around long enough until they let me train the swim team.
"They gave me a shot. With supervision from the head strength coach at SIU, I trained the swim team and we got some results. I didn't know what I was doing, but we got things accomplished."
From there, Brian got a graduate assistant position at Southern Mississippi.
"I just kept volunteering and doing things because I loved doing them and people began to notice my desire to become a strength coach," said Wiseman, who also competes in powerlifting competitions. "The return I got was not financial. It was in my heart. I was doing what I wanted to do."
From USM, Brian got an assistants' job at Sam Houston State.
"You want to talk about a great training ground, we had it at Sam Houston State," he noted. "We had nearely 400 student-athletes for two coaches in the weight room. We had five to six teams each to train and we both had football responsibilities.
"That's a full day, let me tell you. I had track, golf, soccer, tennis, baseball every day. We put in 14-hour days of running and gunning."
Wiseman said he learned a lot in that tenure.
"I learned how to deal with adversity on the run, how to make decisions on the floor in the middle of the action and how to handle multiple sports and athletes at the same time," he said. "You have to learn how to utilize your time and your facilities and you have to learn how to communicate efectively with all your coaches of the different sports about scheduling, etc."
Brian said he was proud of what they were able to accomplish at SHSU.
"We paid attention to details to make it all work and we got a lot done. We would finish up one group and warm up another simultaneously. Kids were crossing paths and we didn't let anything slip," said Brian. "We took the initiative to get the job done without fail and without excuses. We had a job to do and we did it.
"Because of my experience at Sam Houston State, I have a good work ethic. Maybe in the military you can learn that type of regimentation and work ethic, but I don't know where else you can. I learned to be self-motivated and learned to make the most of what we had to work with."
Brian then took the job at Ole Miss and it was a real eye-opener for him.
"I'm coming from a place where we didn't have the means in terms of facilities and staff to a place that does have those things," he said. "And the guys here on the strength staff have the same initiative and desire as we had at Sam Houston State.
"The guys here don't make excuses either. We jsut get it done. We work hard and use all the tools we have to make our athletes better."
So far, his stint at Ole Miss has been "fantastic."
"I've only been at Ole Miss for eight or nine weeks, but it's already been the most satisfying tenure I have had in my career," Wiseman continued. "Coach Aaron Ausmus and Noel Durfey have been incredible. They are phenomenal people, number one, and they are tremendous strength coaches. They have made it so easy for me to ease into everything and help me understand how they do things at Ole Miss.
"We are already on the same page and that's great to me."
Wiseman is also "amazed" at the quality of the Ole Miss athletes.
"I have seen some amazing things athletically here already. The quality of athlete far exceeds anything I have worked with before, including USM," he said. "I work with the track team, for instance, and some of the numbers they are putting up are in the top echelon in the nation, not just in the conference, in the nation. That's a lot of fun when you are a strength coach."
Brian believes he also brings some attributes to the Ole Miss S & C program.
"I have been fortunate enough to train with Tim Swords, who has trained a lot of junior Olympic national champions in Houston. He produces some high-quality lifters and taught me a lot. Coach Ausmus has been open to my techniques and suggestions," Brian said. "We look at things from a different angle and as they say two heads are better than one.
"We've been able to incorporate some things that will help everyone, I believe. And so does Aaron. To be able to have that type of rapport and dialogue and input with your bosses is tremendous to a young coach. For them to be receptive to new ideas makes the work place a lot of fun. They listen to new ideas and weigh it all and make decisions. That's exciting to me."
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