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Gulf brings back alumnus, promotes pair of assistants

By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 29, 2000


NEW PORT RICHEY -- The coaching landscape at Gulf is quickly being reshaped.

Principal Cheryl Renneckar announced Wednesday the hiring of three new varsity coaches. A former Buccaneer, Shaun Wiemer, has returned to coach baseball while two assistants have been promoted to the top soccer jobs: Sam Koleduk to take over the boys program and Steve Emerson to oversee the girls program.

"I think it's great any time you bring in student-athletes who played there, who have the pride of being in the athletic program, who want to do well," Wiemer said. "So you can bring in a new attitude and a new enthusiasm and keep on building on what they've got there."

Said Emerson: "I've been wanting to coach at the varsity level since I started 10 years ago, and I finally got the opportunity to do it at Gulf High School."

Wiemer, class of '88, was coached by Jerry Young and Keith Newton when he was in high school and will return to the campus as an assistant football coach as well. Wiemer replaces Phil Bell, who left to take the baseball job at Mitchell.

Wiemer currently is the coach at Beauregard High in Opelika, Ala., and a baseball camp instructor with Mississippi State and Alabama. In five years at Beauregard, Wiemer compiled a 53-53 record and was the two-time Class 4A, Area 5 coach of the year, leading his team to area championships in 1997 and 1998.

After earning degrees from St. Petersburg Junior College and Auburn, Wiemer was a student assistant baseball coach with the Tigers in 1992.

Wiemer was the assistant varsity baseball coach and junior varsity baseball coach at W.S. Neal High in East Brewton, Ala., from 1993-95

At Neal, he coached defensive ends and tight ends on the varsity and was the special teams and strength and conditioning coach. At Beauregard, he was the junior varsity defensive coordinator from 1995-98 and coached defensive ends and outside linebackers on the varsity last season.

"It feels great," Wiemer said. "I've been working hard the last 10 years to build up my credentials and establish myself as a coach and as a teacher to go back (to Gulf) in confidence.

"I feel really good about it. I've got the experience under my belt. I'm looking forward to working with Ms. Renneckar, Coach Newton and all the old coaches who mentored me and helped me out when I needed it."

Koleduk, another Gulf alumnus, was the assistant under former boys soccer coach Matt Villei, whose position was reallocated to Mitchell.

Villei has since left the school system for the private sector, leaving Koleduk to step up into the head varsity job after leading the junior varsity to a 9-3-3 record last season.

A recent inductee into the Saint Leo University Hall of Fame for his soccer exploits, Koleduk was a two-time all-American there and is the school's all-time leading scorer.

Koleduk also played professionally for seven years in the United States Soccer League,

the Independent Soccer League, the National Professional Soccer League and the Eastern Indoor Soccer League.

He has coached at Saint Leo, the West Pasco Soccer Club and Gulf Middle School.

Emerson, a former player and graduate of Saint Leo, was promoted after four years as assistant girls soccer coach and as a head coach with the West Pasco Youth Soccer League.

He has been the director of coaching at the West Pasco Youth Soccer Association since 1999.

The former coach, Jeff Thompson, resigned because his wife is expecting a baby and because he might explore out-of-state opportunities.

"I'm very excited about it," Emerson said. "It's something I've worked for in all my coaching, through JV the last three years.

"I'm excited to eventually get a shot now to work with the varsity team."

Added Wiemer: "I'm ready. I've been gone too long."

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