July 17, 2011
UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND - University of Richmond associate head baseball coach Ryan Wheeler has been named the next head coach at Temple University, bringing 15 years of Division-I coaching experience to the Owls.
Wheeler had spent the last five years as an assistant coach at Richmond, being elevated to the position of associate head coach last month by fourth-year head coach Mark McQueen.
A national search for Wheeler's replacement begin immediately.
"We're very happy for Ryan to be able to take this next step in his career," said McQueen. "This is well-deserved and Temple has made a tremendous choice to lead its baseball program. I can't thank Ryan enough for his tireless efforts over the last five years and I wish him, his wife Nora and their family all the best."
The Spiders are coming off a 2011 season that saw them finish as the Atlantic 10 runner-up after falling to Charlotte in the A-10 title game and finishing the year 29-27-2.
"We are thrilled to be able to bring on board a high-caliber person such as Ryan Wheeler to take over the reins of the Temple Baseball program," said Temple Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw. "Ryan is one of the most respected assistant coaches in the East, and has the skill set and passion to take our program to new heights."
Wheeler, who directed the Spiders' recruiting efforts while focusing on instruction for both the hitters and infielders, joined the Richmond coaching staff for the 2007 season, after serving one year as an assistant at Penn. He had previously served a nine-year stint as an assistant at William & Mary.
"I cannot thank the University of Richmond and Coach McQueen enough for the opportunity to work at such a special place," said Wheeler. "My time and experience at Richmond allowed me to reach a career goal I've had for a long time. I want to thank the alumni for their loyal support of the program, and thank the players who gave me the opportunity to work with them over the years. I leave knowing there are great things still to come for the program and I wish everyone at the University of Richmond the very best."
Wheeler has mentored a total of 15 players taken in the Major League Baseball Draft, including the Spiders' Joe Mahoney (Baltimore, 2007), Mike Mergenthaler (San Francisco, 2011), along with Brendan Harris (Chicago Cubs, 2001), Chris Ray (Baltimore, 2003), Chris Shaver (Chicago Cubs, 2004) and Bill Bray (Montreal, 2004).
A graduate of Penn State, Wheeler was a 31st-round draft pick of the California Angels in 1994. Wheeler and his wife, Nora, have three children: Jack, Kevin and Kate.