SPOKANE, WA - The Texas Rangers have announced the 2017 field staffs for their minor league affiliates today, and the Spokane Indians will have a new manager for the first time since 2007. Matt Hagen, a veteran of 11 years in professional baseball, will replace longtime skipper Tim Hulett at the helm next season, which is scheduled to begin on Thursday, June 15 against the Boise Hawks at Avista Stadium. Hagen will be joined by Chase Lambin (Hitting Coach), Joey Seaver (Pitching Coach) and Turtle Thomas (Coach), while Ed Yong (Strength & Conditioning Coach), and Luke Teeters (Trainer) round out the staff.
"Spokane has a reputation as the premier organization in the Northwest League and I'm truly grateful to be a part of it," said Hagen. "It is our goal as a coaching staff that Indians fans will be proud of the way their players approach the game every night."
Hagen, a native of Watsonville, CA, spent last season as a coach with the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League. The 36-year-old was drafted in the 12th round of the 2002 draft out of Liberty University by the Seattle Mariners and spent 11 years in minor league and independent ball, including time in the NWL as a player for the Everett AquaSox. Hagen's coaching career also consists of time with the Inland Empire 66ers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Liberty University, and the University of Texas.
Lambin, who served as an assistant coach with the Indians in 2015, will return to the Inland Northwest after spending last year with the AZL Rangers. Originally drafted in the 34th round of the 2002 draft, Lambin retired from professional baseball in 2014 following 11 seasons in the minors and a stint with the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japan Pacific League.
Seaver is back for his second year as pitching coach for the Indians after holding that same role during the 2016 season. The Tennessee native joined the Rangers staff in 2014 following a successful run as a pitching coach at the junior college level. Seaver, who pitched at the University of Tennessee, was drafted four times as an amateur and pitched professionally in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system.
Henry "Turtle" Thomas enters his first year in the Rangers organization after a fruitful nine-year tenure as the head coach for Florida International University. Thomas won 282 games and led FIU to a pair of conference titles and three NCAA tournament appearances. A catcher in college at High Point and Campbell, Thomas began his collegiate coaching and recruiting career at Clemson in 1978, and also spent time at Georgia Tech, the University of Miami, LSU, and Arizona State before arriving at FIU.
Yong, Spokane's longest tenured strength and conditioning coach, will be coming back to Avista Stadium for his ninth consecutive season in the dugout. His experience includes time with the Chinese Olympic Baseball Team and the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
Teeters returns to the Indians for his second season as trainer after previously having worked for Texas in the Dominican Summer League. The Ohio native graduated from Wilmington College and completed internships with the Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds before joining the Rangers organization.
For more information, please visit spokaneindians.com or call (509) 535-2922.
About the Indians
The Indians are the Short Season Class "A" affiliate for the Texas Rangers. Group Outings, Hospitality Areas and Season Tickets for the 2017 Spokane Indians season are available now! Click here to view the 2017 schedule. For more information, please call (509) 343-6886 or visit spokaneindians.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.