Henry A. Wise High School has hired Stephon Seraile to replace Walter Clark as coach of the girls’ basketball team, the school announced Tuesday.
Seraile, 35, comes to Wise after serving as an assistant for the Southern Polytechnic State University women’s team. Prior to that he was an assistant boys’ coach at Thomas S. Wootton.
“I wanted to get back into high school basketball,” Seraile said. “... You’re able to impact the kids a little bit greater to help to set up their future.”
Seraile, a former teacher at The Barnesville School, said he was hoping get a teaching position at the Upper Marlboro school.
Seraile played basketball at Quince Orchard (Class of 1997) and two years of football at Morehouse College in Georgia. After graduating with a degree in psychology, he coached in a Washington, D.C. church league, then led a girls’ Amateur Athletic Union team, the Maryland Flames, for five years.
“The biggest thing that Stephon brings to the table — this is going to sound cliché — he’s really a kid-first coach. He wants to see them succeed on and off the court,” Wootton boys’ coach Chris Bolen said.
Clark, a retired Prince George’s County teacher, said he was not brought back because the school wanted a coach who worked in the building. A longtime coach with more than 600 career victories, Clark led the Pumas to back-to-back 4A state finals appearances (2011-12) after taking over a 4-17 team in 2007. The Pumas went 11-9 last season.
“What can you say?” Clark said. “They were looking for something different. I don’t have any problem with it.”
Wise Athletic Director Jason Gordon said Clark was replaced because the school wanted “to go in a different direction.”
Wise is expected to return several key players, including rising senior forward Ciaira Lee, who averaged a team-high 15.9 points per game.
“The summer is going to be huge for us to get everybody on board, to get everybody going,” Seraile said. “... My ultimate goal is to have fun and take pride with what we’re doing, but also, at the end of the day, to win.”
— Eric Goldwein