BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- The Bowling Green Hot Rods, Class A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, announced a promotion Thursday for general manager Ryan Gates. The team's third-year executive has been elevated to general manager and chief operating officer and will replace president Brad Taylor, who has accepted a leadership position with the new Triple-A team moving to El Paso, Texas.
"We are fortunate to have someone of Ryan's experience and leadership ability to assume responsibility as the team's leader," said Rick Brenner, president of the Hot Rods' parent company, DSF Sports. "His hard work and leadership have been, and will continue to be, critical assets to our growth as a family entertainment destination in South Central Kentucky."
Gates is in his third season with the Hot Rods after assuming the role of general manager in February 2011, and he has been involved in the Minor Leagues for more than a decade. He was the highly successful general manager of the Class A West Virginia Power, who opened a new ballpark, set several attendance records, and branded a new identity during his time with the team. Directly preceding his arrival in Bowling Green, Gates earned Frontier League Executive of the Year honors as the inaugural general manager of the Lake Erie Crushers in northeast Ohio.
Since joining the Hot Rods, he has directed the staff in the daily operations while bringing new ideas to enhance the Hot Rods Entertainment Experience. Now, in addition to the day-to-day tasks of running the team, he will take on a greater role as a community ambassador while nurturing and creating new partnerships with sponsors and community leaders.
"I am so proud to be able to accept this additional responsibility with the Hot Rods," said Gates. "Since I arrived in 2011, I have seen the hard work done by this staff to develop the Hot Rods into a true member of this community. I look forward to taking on an even greater role to ensure that our fans receive the first-class, affordable, family entertainment they have come to expect."
Taylor leaves after five years with the team, first as the general manager when the franchise relocated in 2008 to his current role as team president, where he focuses on community involvement and direct sponsor relationships. After a nationwide search, Brad was selected to lead the new operation for the Triple-A team in El Paso and will begin work there in the last week of May.
"Brad has been an outstanding representative for the Hot Rods and our entire organization since we moved to Kentucky in 2008, and we will miss him," added team owner Art Solomon. "We wish Brad the best, and we are confident that he will excel with his new team in El Paso."