It appears that a former Toledo Football player is not quite ready to leave the program after all. Former wide receiver and defensive back, Kishon Wilcher has accepted a Graduate Assistant role within the program and will remain with the Rockets. Wilcher, of Detroit Cass Technical High School, had an injury-plagued career in the Midnight Blue & Gold, originally starting his career as a defensive back, then flipping to wide receiver for 2014 and 2015. However, Wilcher was a lethal kick returner and was always one of the fastest, if not the fastest, players on the field.
Wilcher, who is a recent graduate of the University of Toledo, began his Graduate Assistant role on May 31 and has been keeping busy ever since. "It's been a few long days but I really enjoy it," Wilcher told us.
Kishon, the son of Detroit Cass Technical High School head football coach, Thomas Wilcher, says it appears as if he is following his father's footsteps early on in his life.
"I wouldn't say I'm following in his footsteps but it sure seems like it," Kishon stated, "He told me he didn't want to be a coach until he became a Graduate Assistant at the University of Michigan."
Now, Wilcher gets time to think about what he wants to do in years to come, both as a coach, and person. However, when Wilcher was asked about his interest in becoming a part of Coach Jason Candle's staff for the Rockets, it's an opportunity he didn't want to pass up.
"Their previous Graduate Assistant had left and Coach Sage asked if I would be interested," Wilcher stated, which he obviously was. Now, it's time for Wilcher to switch his mindset from player, to coach, as he gets set to overlook the same players that were his teammates a season ago.
"It's only been a few days but it's surreal because I was just in the players' shoes," he added.
Wilcher, who graduated from Toledo with high academic standing, was an easy decision to bring onto the staff, according to wide receivers coach, Derek Sage.
"He was a no brainer!" Sage stated, "He graduated with a 3.6-3.8 GPA and was already taking Masters classes plus he wants to finish that. Plus, he has great connections in Detroit for recruiting along with a great pulse of the wide receivers' room, where his position assists. He has a professional approach to separate himself from being a player and transitioning into a coach, we're really lucky to have him," Sage continued.
Going forward, Wilcher will continue to learn the ropes from Coach Jason Candle and Coach Sage as he looks to assist in recruiting efforts, game film, and scouting of opponents as the season nears.
"I'll be working with receivers and basically whatever the coaches on the offensive side want done, whether it's doing a scouting report or breaking down a game," Wilcher said.
From here, the journey to becoming a coach from a player begins for the 23-year-old but Sage says it will be an easy one for him due to how respected he is amongst the current roster.
"The players were fired up to hear that we were bringing Kishon on," Sage told us, "He was one of the best practice players and played through injuries his entire career. He has a great reputation with the players!"
As the long nights and early mornings continue for Wilcher, he will get a chance to consider if he'd like to follow in his father, Thomas' footsteps. Thomas, who ran track and played football at the University of Michigan, has been the head football coach at Detroit Cass Tech since 1997. Since Wilcher's arrival, the Technicians has competed in the MHSAA Class-A playoffs ten times and in 1998, Wilcher was named Detroit Free Press High School Football Coach of the Year with a team that was Detroit City Class-A runner-up. Since taking over, Wilcher has helped produce more than several notable college football players at major programs.
When asked if he'd like to take over at Cass Tech for his father one day, Kishon said he's unsure if he wants that pressure, "I don't know (about taking taking over at Cass Tech) - that's a big role to fill, he has really done great things there."
One thing is for certain, Thomas Wilcher is extremely proud of his son, Kishon, as he continues the process of obtaining his Masters Degree while assisting the Toledo Football program.
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