SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State head baseball coach Reggie Christiansen announced today that Tim Wheeler has been elevated to assistant coach and Dane Fujinaka has returned as a volunteer assistant for the 2018 season.
"I am excited to welcome back both Tim and Dane to campus," Christiansen said. "Both made their mark as players on our campus. Tim was a first rounder and had a Hall of Fame career. Dane was the emotional leader in 2014 in our first NCAA Tournament appearance."
Wheeler returned to Sacramento State last season as an undergraduate assistant coach following his pro career. The former All-American assisted with the team's outfielders and also served as the first base coach. The Sacramento native was a first-round selection by the Colorado Rockies in 2009 after hitting .385 with 18 home runs and a school record 72 RBIs. That season he also hit .457 with runners in scoring position with 15 stolen bases and five outfield assists.
Wheeler played seven seasons of professional baseball in the Rockies system, including four at Triple-A. He set the Rockies' Double-A record with 33 home runs for Tulsa in 2011.
"Tim will bring an uncanny ability to help develop our hitters," Christiansen said. "His personality is contagious and he's one of the most caring individuals I know. He is passionate about our program and invested in being here for a very long time."
Fujinaka began his coaching career last season as an assistant at Menlo College where the team posted a 35-22 overall record. The Aiea, Hawaii, native played his first three collegiate seasons at Sacramento State where he appeared in 152 games. He transferred to Menlo for his senior season and started all 54 games for the Oaks.
"Dane was as tough a kid as I have ever coached and I am excited to have him back on campus to instill that in our players along with working with our catchers" Christiansen said. "Dane's work ethic and attention to detail are off the charts."
Jake Angier will return as the team's pitching coach. Angier started his tenure at Sacramento State in 2014.