Associate Head Coach Ryan Wheeler of Saint Joseph’s University shared his typical recruiting process and offered some advice to future college baseball players. Coach Wheeler has an impressive coach resume and has been a large part of the recent success of the SJU program. The Hawks are an NCAA Division I school that competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference and are led by a veteran coaching staff with impressive resumes.
|Saint Joseph’s University
|NCAA Division I
|Atlantic 10 Conference
Recruiting Q&A – with Associate Head Coach Ryan Wheeler
What are your typical scouting methods?
Combination of camps, showcases, and tournaments.
How do you recommend players contact you if they are interested in your program?
If a player contacts you, what are you most interested in?
Any general advice for players that want to play college baseball?
Don’t get caught up in playing Division I baseball. Find a school that is the right fit regardless of level.
Program Overview – Hawks Baseball
The Hawks’ program is led by Head Coach Fritz Hamburg, who during his tenure has become the all-time coaching wins leader in the program with many 20+ win seasons. Coach Hamburg spent time coaching at Army after his All-American playing career came to end where he won a National Championship and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Coach Hamburg’s Associate Head Coach, Ryan Wheeler also has an extensive coach background. Coach Wheeler had stints as the head coach at Temple University, and several years as a top assistant at the University of Richmond and William & Mary.
The Hawks compete in the Atlantic 10 conference, which is comprised of schools across North Carolina, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. As frequent championship competitors in the A10, the Hawks recently made four trips to the A10 Championship in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2021.
The Saint Joseph’s University Hawks play at John W. Smithson Field located on campus. Aside from the state-of-the-art artificial turf field, the Hawks also have a new clubhouse and batting cages at the field. The field features bleacher seating with a capacity of 400, with several other spots all around the park for fans to watch a game.
The baseball program at Saint Joseph’s University has produced many MLB draft picks, which is highlighted by current MLB player Jimmy Yacabonis and several others in various minor league organizations.
School Overview – SJU
Saint Joseph’s University is a private Jesuit Catholic university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in 1851, the university has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and a commitment to Jesuit values. With a student population of over 9,000 and a faculty of more than 500, the university is dedicated to providing students with a transformative education that prepares them for successful and meaningful careers.
Saint Joseph’s is guided by the principles of the Society of Jesus, which emphasize the importance of intellectual and spiritual growth, service to others, and social justice. These values are integrated into the university’s academic programs, student activities, and community engagement initiatives.
The university offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs, with a strong emphasis on the liberal arts. Saint Joseph’s Honors Program provides students with additional opportunities for academic challenge and growth. The university’s location in Philadelphia provides students with access to a vibrant cultural scene, internships and job opportunities, and a wide range of recreational activities.
Saint Joseph’s is committed to community service and social justice. Through service trips, volunteer opportunities, and community service projects, students have the chance to make a positive impact in the lives of others. The university also has a focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility, and has implemented practices to reduce its carbon footprint and promote environmentally friendly practices on campus.
The university has a strong spiritual life program, including retreats, Mass, and community service projects. Additionally, there are a range of student organizations, clubs, and activities, allowing students to pursue their interests, meet new people, and become involved in the university community.
In conclusion, Saint Joseph’s University is a dynamic institution that offers a well-rounded education and a supportive community. With a commitment to Jesuit values, academic excellence, and community engagement, Saint Joseph’s is a top choice for students seeking a university that will help them grow intellectually, spiritually, and personally.
The Hawks baseball program and Saint Joseph’s University can provide student-athletes with a well-rounded experience of competitive athletics as well as a highly reputable education. For players that shared similar values and are interested in the Hawks baseball program, we encourage them to fill out the recruiting questionnaire linked above and follow Coach Wheeler’s advice on their recruiting process, keeping an eye out for upcoming camps.
Like many coaches that have participated in the Program Spotlight Recruiting Q&As, Coach Wheeler put emphasis on the advice that players should not only focus on playing DI baseball. There are great opportunities for players at all levels, whether that’s NCAA, NAIA, or JUCO. There are programs at all levels across the country that have top-notch facilities and academic programs and players are encouraged to take a holist approach when deciding what they are looking for of their college experience. Playing college baseball at any level is difficult and quite an accomplishment. Players own it to themselves to learn about all levels and ignore the “DI or bust” mentality.
We’d like to thank Coach Wheeler for offering up some advice to players who want to play college baseball. We especially agree that players should adopt the mindset of prioritizing the fit of a school over the level they compete at. There’s no question Saint Joseph’s University baseball program will continue to garner the respect it deserves and we wish them the best of luck in their upcoming season.