Eric Wheeler joined the Suffolk University men’s basketball coaching staff as assistant coach prior to tip-off of the 2015-16 season and begins his third season on Jeff Juron's staff in 2017-18.
Prior to the 2016-17 academic year, he added more responsibility to his role when he joined the Athletics Department as a Graduate Assistant, where he will assist with the brand new, state-of-the-art Michael & Larry Smith Fitness Center and the Rams' equipment room, while pursuing a Masters in Administration of Higher Education.
Wheeler’s second-season on the bench saw Suffolk make its fifth consecutive trip to the GNAC Tournament thanks to a 7-19 overall and 6-12 versus conference competition. Michael Hagopian, a All-GNAC second-team selection, had a standout sophomore campaign in 2016-17 that featured back-to-back 30-plus point performances, an accomplishment that has not happened in over a decade. Wheeler helped the Rams to their first-ever GNAC Institutional Sportsmanship Award, while the team also garnered a NABC Team Academic Excellence Award for the first time.
During his first season on the bench of Suffolk’s program the Rams turned on the engines at just the right time. Sitting at 4-15 heading into February, Suffolk won four of its final six to improve to 8-17 overall and 6-12 against conference competition to clinch the seventh seed in the GNAC Tournament.
For the tournament’s quarterfinals Suffolk ventured to second-seeded Lasell February 23, who the Rams just upset four days earlier in a 67-66 thriller. History did not repeat itself, however, as the Lasers held off the Rams, 78-64, to end the blue-and-gold’s run and season at 8-18 overall.
Wheeler helped coach Rams’ to individual milestones along the way. Senior Caleb Unni, a four-time GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team selection, punched tickets to Suffolk’s 1,000-point club and 100-game status the same day. Classmate Adam Chick also played in his 100th career game, while fellow senior Jake Meister earned a spot on the conference’s second team.
Wheeler joins the Suffolk staff after a one-year stint with the Fitchburg State program, his first stop as a full-time collegiate assistant. He was an essential ingredient to the Falcons 14-win improvement and ECAC New England Tournament Championship run in 2014-15. Wheeler served as the recruiting coordinator for Fitchburg, as well a crucial component in organizing and executing practice and game plans.
Prior to his time with Fitchburg, Wheeler made his way on the college circuit as the University of Massachusetts team manager from 2009-12. As a Minutemen manager, he wore multiple hats, including assistance with practice drills, one-on-one player development and film editing.
Wheeler has done a number of stints at summer basketball camps, clinics and as an AAU coach. Most recently, he coached and worked as the team administrator for Team W.H.E.E.L.S.
The Boxford, Massachusetts product earned his Bachelors of Science in Sport Management from the Isenberg School of Management from the University of Massachusetts in 2012.