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Ben Wharton
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Eddie Salter
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Former Chattanooga Christian player Ben Wharton, a standout baseball and basketball player for the Chargers from 2000 to 2003, has accepted a job that will have him working for both of his old coaches.

As the new CCS baseball coach, Wharton will be working for athletic director John Visser, who coached him for four seasons. As a boys' assistant basketball coach, he'll be working for Eddie Salter, who is returning to courtside for the Chargers after a seven-year layoff.

"Ben brings a lot of enthusiasm, he's an excellent baseball coach, an excellent mentor of young men and he understands the history of the program," Visser said. "We're really thrilled, too, to have Eddie back in it. He also knows the history of the school, and I think he's excited to be in it again."

Wharton played on the last two CCS baseball teams to make the state tournament field (2001-02) and was a member of Salter's 2001 state championship basketball team.

Wharton replaces Joel Johnson, who resigned the baseball position in early June to return to Lakeland, Fla. Salter replaces David Conrady, who resigned to accept a position at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas.

A shortstop and pitcher for CCS, Wharton posted a 14-0 record with a 0.63 earned run average his senior season before he moved on to Bryan College, where he played for Johnson.

He led the NAIA in stolen bases in 2006 and received a gold glove in 2007.

Wharton played two years of independent league baseball but spent the past eight seasons with Covenant's baseball program, the last six as a full-time assistant. While there he earned his master's degree in sports management from Georgia Southern.

"I had gotten used to the college game, but then Coach Visser called and said there was an opening, and that was an opportunity that was hard to pass up," Wharton said.

A history major at Bryan, Wharton will be teaching Western civilization in the CCS middle school.

"I have taught at the elementary school and college levels and substitute taught in the high school at CCS, but this will be my first time teaching middle school kids," he said.

Wharton was the director of athletic marketing at Covenant the past three years — he's been working double duty the last week or so — and will join CCS full time next week.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.

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