ADA – The East Central University athletic department has announced the hiring of Daniel Wheeler as the 13th ECU Men’s Basketball Head Coach.
“We are very pleased to add Daniel to our Athletics Department and East Central University,” said interim athletic director and women’s basketball coach Matt Cole. “Daniel stood out amongst many qualified applicants for the men’s basketball position, and we feel that Coach Wheeler will deliver a great experience to our student-athletes along with GAC and NCAA success.”
“Coach Wheeler will be a welcome addition to the ECU community,” said interim president Dr. Jeffrey Gibson. “With his commitment to player development, knowledge of the game, and experience in building winning programs, including the 2022 MIAA Championship, he is sure to lead men’s basketball to success in the years the come.”
Wheeler comes to the Tigers after spending the last seven years as an assistant coach at the University of Central Oklahoma. He started with the Bronchos in 2015 as a graduate assistant coach, moved to assistant coach in 2018 and spent the last two years as the lead assistant.
“I would like to thank President Gibson, coach Cole and everyone at East Central University for this amazing opportunity to be the next head coach at ECU,” Wheeler said. “This is an unbelievable blessing and I do not take it lightly. There are so many people I need to thank for this as I did not get here on my own. Thank you to all players that I have coached, coaches I have worked with and my family for their support.”
In seven seasons he helped guide UCO to 112 wins, including three 20-win seasons. The Bronchos advanced to the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament for the past three seasons, with the team advancing to the NCAA Division II Central Regional in 2021-22.
“My wife, Paige, and I look forward to coming to Ada and being involved in the community,” Wheeler said. “It is a wonderful place full of great people and support and we cannot wait to be in it.
“I am excited to get started at ECU as there is such a great opportunity to build on the great tradition that is in this program. I am ready to get to work with the team and start pursuing the things necessary to be excellent.”
The Burden, Kan., native is married to the former Paige Klinger.