By: Ken LaVicka
ESPN 106.3 Staff Writer
The King's Academy is turning to a former Major Leaguer to to take over its baseball program.
The West Palm Beach private school announced Friday morning via Twitter that eight-year pro veteran Brad Wilkerson has been named head coach after one season in charge of TKA's middle school team.
The 37-year old Wilkerson replaces Doug Magaw, who left King's for John I. Leonard at the end of June.
After stints with the Expos (2001-2004), Nationals (2005), Rangers (2006-2007, Mariners (2008) and Blue Jays (2008), Wilkerson decided to retire after a brief time in the Red Sox farm system in 2009 and an attempted comeback with the Phillies in 2010.
An outfielder and first baseman, Wilkerson finished second in Rookie of the Year voting with Montreal in 2002 after hitting .266 with 20 home runs.
Prior to his Major League career, Wilkerson was a three-time All-American at the University of Florida. He was inducted into the Gators' Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010 and the National College Baseball Hall of Fame two years later.
One of the highlights of Wilkerson's baseball life came in 2000 when he helped lead the United States to a shocking upset of Cuba in the final to claim the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.
King's Academy has featured one of the area's most successful baseball programs over the past half-decade. The Lions claimed district titles in 2012 and 2013, falling just short of the state semi-finals both years. TKA was 14-12 and 5-4 in district play this past season.