For the first time in nearly four decades, Clearwater Central Catholic has a new baseball coach.
On Friday, the school announced via social media the hiring of former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Dan Wheeler to take over the program. Wheeler replaces Todd Vaughan, who stepped down three weeks ago after coaching the Marauders for 33 seasons.
Wheeler, 43, spent 14 seasons at the major league level, including two stints (1999-2001, 2007-10) with Tampa Bay. He was drafted by the Devil Rays, where he spent three seasons before playing for the Mets (2003-04) and Astros (2004-07), where he became a premier set-up man.
In 2007, Wheeler started his second stint with the Rays and was a member of the club’s 2008 World Series team. He finished his career with the Red Sox (2011) and Indians (2012).
For the past two seasons, Wheeler was an assistant at CCC. He also has helped out with the Kangaroo Court/Top Tier club baseball programs. The Marauders finished 3-18 this past season.