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Saturday’s University of North Carolina football game at Georgia Tech in Atlanta will have local ties all the way back to Crawfordsville.
A pair of former Wabash football players and hall of fame inductees will square off on opposite sidelines.
Fountain Central grad and three-sport Little Giant standout Scott Boone, who is in his first season as the special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach at UNC will oppose 1994 Wabash grad Chris Wiesehan, who is in his first season as the offensive specials team coordinator and tight end coach for Georgia Tech.
“Obviously we are going to go out there and always be close friends, but on Saturday we are going to be competitors and be pros,” Wiesehan said about Boone.
Wiesehan was an All-American wide receiver for the Little Giants, playing for Boone, who was on legendary coach Greg Carlson’s staff from 1983-96.
“He was an awesome player,” Boone said about Wiesehan. “He was one of the best receivers we’ve ever had. He was always about ball. And when get got out of school he got a couple of opportunities, and so we kept in touch. And he started moving up in the profession and started doing really well, and it’s impressive what he’s done as a young coach in this business.”
Wiesehan has bounced around with various stops in both Division I football and the NFL.
Saturday will be the second time the two have faced off as opposing coaches, the other coming in 2006 when Boone was at William & Mary and Wiesehan at James Madison.
“It’s going to be great to see him,” Boone said. “I’ve always considered since I got done coaching him a friend, and a friend in the business,” “We’ve always had a good relationship.”
Boone landed at UNC after a one-year stint at Wake Forest and a pair of stops at Nevada and Arizona. After hall of fame coach Mack Brown, who led Texas to the national championship in 2005, agreed to become the head coach at North Carolina for the second time in his career (1988-1997), a mutual connection helped land Boone with a new gig.
“When coach Brown asked if I was interested, obviously it was one of the greatest opportunities I could ever have,” Boone said.
Wiesehan, who came to Wabash as a player from Ben Davis, says Saturday will be just another opportunity to engage with a Wabash alumnus.
“The neat thing is in our industry, whether I’m at UCLA or at Tampa Bay, it’s amazing the number of people who reach out and are like ‘hey there’s a Wabash guy in the area,’” he said. “And you go get lunch with a guy and all the sudden you meet another guy and that’s always the tight close-knit community you know Wabash is. That’s pretty neat.”
Wiesehan says Wabash will forever help carry him through his career.
“That school was a big part of my life, and the relationships are lifelong relationships,” he said. “It all blends into the adversity and the toughness athletically, and then academically, time management and all those things rolled up into one kind of blend together through the adversity and the challenges at that school academically.”
With both Boone and Wiesehan dedicated to careers in football, neither are able to get back to watch the Little Giants except on rare occasions, but are impressed with the continued upgrades to the program, including the new stadium set to open in 2020.
“I thought that when I was at Wabash as a player and at Wabash as a coach, I thought that we had some of the best facilities for football in the state and in the conference,” Boone said. “And they didn’t really do much to it for a long time and then they built the Allen Center and then they built the weight room and then the track and the turf. And now this new stadium is obviously going to put us another step forward in the competition.”
Each year the Princeton Review ranks Wabash College near the top for best alumni networks and jock schools.
On Saturday, two former Little Giant star athletes will meet on the gridiron, share stories at midfield and reminisce, before doing what Wabash men do best.
Wabash Always Fights.