Hornet Baseball hires new head coach

By  | 

EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The search is over for the Emporia State baseball team--and they didn't have to look far.

University Director of Athletics Kent Weiser announced Friday the school had tabbed pitching coach Seth Wheeler as the Hornets' new head coach.

Wheeler has spent the last three seasons as the pitching coach at ESU, also working with the catchers. During his three-season span, the Hornets had the second best ERA in the conference with 4.60, went 110-52 with three trips to the NCAA Tournament and an MIAA regular season championship.

"I am incredibly excited to be named the head baseball coach at Emporia State University," Wheeler said in a press release. "Growing up in Kansas City, I've known about Hornet baseball my entire life and grew up playing for guys from the Dave Bingham coaching tree."

Wheeler's first coaching experience came as a hitting coach for the Junction City Brigade during the summer following his graduation from Central Missouri. During the school year, he served as an assistance coach at Butler County Community College. There he coached the catchers and base running for the Grizzlies, who finished the season leading the NJCAA in stolen bases with 157.

In his time as at Central Missouri, Wheeler was an honorable mention All-MIAA selection at catcher, hitting .324 for the 2014 MIAA Regular Season Champion Mules. Before that, Wheeler played for two years at Butler, earning All-Jayhawk Conference honors as a sophomore.

Wheeler will take over for former ESU head coach Bob Fornelli, who was the Hornets coach for 15 years and the winningest coach in Emporia State history. Fornelli accepted a head coaching position with Pittsburg State earlier this year.