Mr. Phil Wilder

Head Coach, Cross Country and Track and Field Teams
Inducted by Brian Henderson ‘85


Phil graduated from Hamilton High School in Los Angeles in 1970 after an athletic career that encompassed football, cross country, and track and field. Although still a football fan (especially of the Pittsburgh Steelers), his coaching passion became track and field and cross country. He started coaching with the Richmond Recreation Department, overseeing the track and field activities and was the founder of the Richmond Roadrunners Amateur Athletic Union Track Team. He did his student teaching at Richmond High School, taught one year at El Cerrito and Pinole, then moved on to Salesian High School from 1979-1981. In 1981 he came to Moreau establishing the Mariners as one of the premier cross country programs in the nation.

The track and cross country teams achieved major accomplishments under Coach Wilder’s leadership. The 1984-1985 teams were #1 in North Coast Section and finished 5th and 3rd respectively in the Nor Cal Meet. Some of Coach Wilder’s favorite memories were when the Boys Cross Country team swept De La Salle 7-1 at Garin Park; the 1991 Girls Cross Country team finishing 10th in the State meet; the track and field meet vs. De La Salle/Carondelet to determine the championship and winning both!

Phil likes to dream big. Not content to stay in the local area for cross country invitationals, he has taken his cross country teams to Rhode Island, Hawaii, Oregon, Japan, and various locales throughout California. Phil, being the consummate Social Studies teacher, also incorporates learning experiences for his teams on all their trips. Phil established the Mariner Invitational, one of the best cross-country meets anywhere, and as it grew, so did Phil’s dreams. He added a pasta dinner the night before the event which included guest speakers. He has had many Olympians speak at the event, including Billy Mills and Lopez Lomong.

Phil has been married to his wife Jessica since 1980 and they have two daughters Hayley and Kayla. Although he never planned to become a coach, Phil started out at Richmond High School and has never looked back. He strongly believes that, although cross country and track seem like individual sports, they are truly team sports that promote the ideals of I’mua (go forward) and Ohana (family) along with the concept of TEAM, Together Everyone Achieves More.

Phil’s athletes all have one thing to say about him: He cares about them as people as well as athletes. He stays in touch with most of his former athletes and they enjoy sharing their lives with him. Phil has truly had an impact on the Mariner community, the greater cross country and track community, and all those with whom he has come in contact. He is truly one of a kind. The Mariner Family is proud to have shared over 30 years of great experiences with him.

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