Clem Wiser will be best remembered as a champion of education, a championship coach, a championship facilitator and a championship friend.
He was a winner in every aspect without losing perspective.
"Coach Wiser is simply the gold standard for teaching basketball players on and off the court,” said Oregon's U.S. senator Ron Wyden, who played for Wiser in the 60s, in an interview with The Campanile in October of 2014.
Wiser, who coached basketball for 28 years and served as athletic director for another decade at Palo Alto High, passed away Friday at the age of 93, leaving a legacy of positive motivation that touched the lives of thousands.
His wife, Olga, of 65 years passed in 2010. He remained in Palo Alto.
Wiser attended the celebration of the gym's closure last year. He was interviewed by Paly grad and current CSNBA personality Dave Feldman as part of the proceedings.
From Wyden to Jim Harbaugh, his players carried life lessons to continued success far beyond high school.
"My high school coach, Clem Wiser, passed yesterday at 93," tweeted Kent Hinckley. "He was a very influential man in my life."
Wiser's teams won 401 games, more than any other Palo Alto basketball coach. He won nine league championships and was named California Coaches Association basketball Coach of Year in 1983. His friend John Barrette won it in 1993.
From the December, 2013 Viking sports magazine:
"In 1967, varsity basketball coach Clem Wiser enjoyed one of his best seasons, finshing with a record of 27-2. That year the Vikings’ performance in the South Peninsula Athletic League championship game ranked them second in the entire state, and that game was one that Wiser and his team would never forget.
"Playing against the Sequoia Cherokees in the league championship, the score was tied 15 times and never exceeded a three point spread.
'It was nip and tuck the whole way,” coach Wiser said. “Mark Daley (‘68) shot two free throws with 20 seconds left to the win the game 70-68 and gave us the championship.'
"The 1967 championship game between Sequoia and Palo Alto was one of the most exciting games Wiser ever experienced. The fans were loud and the gym was packed.
“It was the largest crowd that ever saw a basketball game at Paly,” Wiser said. “Enough people came that [we had to lock the doors and about 100 people couldn’t get in. We even brought in temporary bleachers and people stood three to four deep all around the court.”