HAccording to Wilson, there are four universal languages: food, music, math, and football.
For the past 15 years, Wilson has cultivated the language of football at Santa Fe Prep as the school principals football coach, bringing home a pair of state titles from grades 1A-3A for those efforts. Over the weekend, Wilson informed current and past prep players that he has retired after leading the Blue Griffins to a 12-3-1 record and an appearance in the 1A-3A semifinals.
He hosted a “retirement party” attended by current and former Blue Griffins on Saturday to make his announcement official at Sun Mountain Field.
Prep set a record of 174-127-9 under Wilson and reached the finals three times while winning the state title in 2014 and 2016. Rick Canby, who has been Wilson’s assistant for the past four years, will take over the program.
Wilson said he and his wife expect to spend more time with family in Minnesota – especially their grandchildren. So he decided to leave to move the program forward.
“We wanted the freedom to travel there as much as possible,” said Wilson. “I didn’t think it was fair to wait until September and tell them [Prep athletic director Todd Kurth] we’re going to move to Minnesota. “
When Wilson took the job in 2006, he was the man who replaced Kurth after he resigned, much like Wilson, right after the 2005 state soccer tournament. During Kurth’s eleven-year tenure, the Blue Griffins made it to the semi-finals seven times.
“I’ve inherited a really healthy program,” said Wilson. “And I have to give credit [former head of school and assistant coach] Jim Leonard for creating a culture of love for sport – and football was a big part of that. “
Under Wilson Prep reached the semifinals five times and played three times for the state title.
The program’s success over the past 26 years gives Canby a high bar, but Wilson believes he can.
“My father always taught me to hire people and work with people who are better than you,” said Wilson. “Rick is better than me. He’s a great technical trainer and he really understands sports at this age. We have always been on the same side philosophically, that we are there to support the process of making children great adults. “