After spending most of his professional career molding the talents of student-athletes on the baseball diamond, Limestone’s Chris Wiley is transitioning into a new role where he will be building relationships with current and future donors of the University.
Limestone has announced that Wiley, who spent seven seasons at the helm of the Saints’ baseball program, has made the move from coaching and accepted the position of Director of Philanthropy within the University’s Department of Institutional Advancement.
Wiley was promoted to his new position as Director of Philanthropy on July 1.
“While I will certainly miss being in the dugout and having the day-to-day interactions with our baseball players, I am thrilled to have the chance to take on this new challenge on the institution’s administrative side,” Wiley said. “I am ready to hit the ground running, expanding my existing relationships and building new ones to assist with the fundraising efforts at Limestone.
“It’s certainly going to be a different kind of recruiting for me,” he added. “I never hesitated as a coach to ask a prospective student to become a part of our excellent Athletics program. Now, I am delighted to be recruiting current and new donors and asking them to do all they can to help make Limestone one of the finest universities in the nation. This was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up. I am proud of the foundation that our staff built with our baseball program, and I know we will hire an excellent head coach to lead the fine young men we now have and the Saints of the future.”
The Limestone Athletics Department will immediately begin a national search for the fourth head baseball coach in the program’s 34-year history.
“We are very excited to announce Chris as Limestone’s Director of Philanthropy,” noted President Dr. Darrell Parker. “With the relationships he has built over the years, we believe Chris is the perfect person for this role as our University focuses on increasing scholarship endowments and fundraising, especially as we identify supporters to help renovate the current A.J. Eastwood Library into a modern home for the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences.”
In addition to growing the University’s permanent endowments through major gifts, Wiley is also responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding an assigned portfolio of current and potential donors to further enhance educational opportunities for students, to support programmatic initiatives, and to provide facilities to further support the academic quality of Limestone.
As the Director of Philanthropy, Wiley serves as an ambassador of Limestone in building relationships with donors, while working in collaboration with the Institutional Advancement team, University leadership, parents, alumni, and Limestone faculty to develop and implement proposals and gift opportunities.
“I’m happy to welcome Chris to the Development team and look forward to working with him to implement strategies that will increase Limestone’s visibility, not only among current and potential donors, but also within our alumni and campus communities,” said Kelly Curtis, Vice President for Institutional Advancement.
Wiley has been associated with Limestone since 2006, when he was hired as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the baseball program. Following stops as the interim head coach at Division I Campbell University in 2007 and the pitching coach at Wofford College in 2008, he returned to Limestone as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator in 2009 before being named the third head coach in program history in June 2014.
During his tenure, Wiley developed strong relationships with alumni of the baseball program, both past and present, while making the program stronger in the classroom as both the team’s grade point average and graduation rates have increased over the past seven years. On the diamond, he guided the program’s transition into the South Atlantic Conference – a league that produced the 2021 NCAA Division II National Champion.
“I can’t thank Coach Wiley enough for his leadership on and off the diamond these past seven years,” said Limestone Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Cerino. “His teams accomplished some remarkable feats on the field, but his ability to build bridges with our alumni and how he embraced the Division II model to provide a complete student-athlete experience speaks volumes of his true character.”
The Limestone baseball program was started in 1988 by Gaylord Perry, a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and a two-time Cy Young Award winner. The program experienced a tremendous run during its time as an NAIA member with four players being drafted by Major League Baseball teams between 1991-1997.
The Saints joined the NCAA Division II ranks as a member of the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference (now Conference Carolinas) in 1999. Limestone won the CVAC Regular Season Championship in 2005, while appearing in the CVAC Championship Game in 2003 and 2005. The Blue and Gold then finished as the regular season and tournament runner-up in Conference Carolinas with a 34-win campaign in 2011.
Limestone has produced six players that have been drafted by MLB teams during its NCAA tenure, including Kevin Pucetas, who was the CVAC Pitcher of the Year and a 17th round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2006. In 2011, Joe Maloney became the program’s first multiple All-American and the highest drafted Saint in team history, going in the 10th round with the 324th overall pick to the Texas Rangers.
During Wiley’s tenure, the Saints emerged as one of the top power-hitting teams in the nation, peaking in 2017 as the Blue and Gold ranked ninth in NCAA Division II with 76 home runs and third overall with 1.64 home runs per game. Chase Allen, the program’s career home run leader and a 2017 All-American, was the catalyst during Limestone’s power surge before Benjamin Huber broke through during the team’s first year in the SAC. Huber was a consensus All-Region selection and won the 2021 SAC batting crown.
Limestone plays its home games at Founders FCU Stadium, considered by many as one of the finest Division II ballparks in the region. With the recent addition of Shannon Hamrick Park, Founders FCU Stadium features a grandstand seating area, a state-of-the art press box with pitch tracking capabilities, and a digital video board.