Wilton Barnard Wright (Wil, Coach Wright), 86 years old, Milford, CT Son of Reverend Arthur S. Wright and Mildred Amy Wright (Fuss) of upstate NY. Husband to his bride of 46 years, Elizabeth Wright. Loving father to Jane O’Connor of West Haven, CT, Liz Culmone (husband Doug Culmone) of Lafayette, NJ, and Lauren Wright of Milford, CT. Grandfather to Samantha O’Connor, Kevin O’Connor, Cassondra Culmone and Sarah Culmone. Great grandfather to Logan Wilton Dauria. Brother to (late) Robert Wright, and Ellen Beggs-Davidson (husband Larry Davidson) of Ransomville, (late husband Richard Beggs), nephews Dan Beggs, the late Mark Beggs, and Jared Beggs (wife Jennifer Beggs).
Born in Wellsville, NY on July 9, 1935, Wilton later lived in Perry, NY and then Buffalo, NY until attending college at Southern Methodist University in Texas. He received his masters degree at Springfield College and continued on to Indiana University. During his collegiate years he was drafted into the National Guard. Coach Wright’s lifelong career as a Track & Field and Cross Country coach began as an assistant coach at Springfield College, then at Indiana University. In 1959, Wil became head coach of Morristown Prep in NJ. He taught and coached at SCSU from 1963 until 2009. Early on, Wil was also an assistant Football coach at SCSU for seven seasons. A member of the SCSU Hall of Fame and a Professor of Physical Education Emeritus, he held several administrative positions at SCSU: Chairman of Men’s Physical Education Dept.; Co-Director for Division of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Safety Education; Member of the Executive Committee of the University Curriculum and Instruction Committee; Member of numerous University Committees and search committees. He served on the NCAA Cross Country/Track & Field Rules Committee, held the NCAA II Administrative Director for Champion Meets, and was a Chairperson for the Throwing Jury NCAA II. Coach Wright has been president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, games committee member for various conferences of which SCSU has been a member. He proudly accomplished all team achievements with no athletic financial aid, but with the help of a fantastic coaching staff: Art Kadish, Jack Maloney, James Barber and Tom McDermott. Throughout his career, Coach Wright received a multitude of New England Coach of the Year awards, although he never took credit over his athletes. Later in his career, Wil coached at Fordham University in NY (2009 - 2012), and finished his career at Quinnipiac University. He officially retired at the age of 82.
Wil was known for his incredible work ethic and humility, and he lived his life as a true role model who impacted all who knew him. Patricia D. Nicol, former Director of Athletics at SCSU once said, “His accomplishments as a coach rank among the best in the profession, yet the impact he had on his former student-athletes can never be accurately measured by any athletic statistic.”
Wil’s greatest joys included spending summers at his family's cabin in the Quebec wilderness, being involved with the Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, playing the violin, reading poetry, skiing, roller blading, biking, traveling, studying maps and atlases, rooting for the Buffalo Bills, but most of all, creating lifelong bonds with his fellow coaches, student-athletes and colleagues. Wil’s South Street neighbors were among his closest friends. As a husband and father, he was patient, kind, and generous; he treasured every minute of his family life, and was adored and loved by his children beyond measure.
Contributions in Coach Wright’s memory may be made to the Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church Scholarship Fund.
A memorial service will be held on May 15, 2022 at 2:00 pm at Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, Milford, CT.
An additional memorial will be held at SCSU to be announced.
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Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church Scholarship Fund
168-176 S Broad St, Milford CT 06460