Cleaver named head baseball coach

June 7, 2013

Dan Cleaver, who was a WC assistant the last two seasons, has been named head coach. (Wilmington file photo)

Dan Cleaver, who was a WC assistant the last two seasons, has been named head coach. (Wilmington file photo)

WILMINGTON, OH – Terry Rupert, vice president for athletics administration and director of athletics, has announced the hiring of Dan Cleaver as the school’s new head baseball coach, effective immediately (June 7, 2013).

“We are pleased to have someone with Dan’s extensive knowledge of the game to help turn around our baseball program,” said Rupert. “During the interview process, which yielded several impressive candidates, Dan’s detailed plan on recruitment, retention, skill development and academics brought him to the head of the class.”

Cleaver takes over for Tony Haley, who resigned after 14 years at the helm of the Quakers baseball program. Cleaver was an assistant to Haley in the last two seasons.

“I could not be happier,” said Cleaver. “I was really excited. I love this institution. I have a love for Wilmington College. The only thing, other than my family, that I love more is baseball.

“We just have to change the culture completely,” he continued. “We have to have a different attitude. We have to make sure we are prepared play when the umpire says ‘Play Ball’. It’s a coaches’ game in practice and a players’ game (during the competition). You have to trust them to be players.”

A 1997 WC grad, Cleaver brings several years of coaching experience at the high school and elite teams level, including a seven-year stint as varsity coach at Little Miami High School.

Despite finishing the season 5-32 overall, 1-17 in the OAC, Cleaver feels the Quakers are close to competing with the upper echelon.

“It’s a matter of recruiting,” he said. “I have one recruiting class under my belt, we are working on the second and it takes three recruiting classes to compete.”

Cleaver and his wife Tania reside in Harlan Township. They have three children, including son Clay, who was a freshman starter this past season on the WC baseball team.