The league also draws some of the top up and coming coaching talent from across the country who are looking to develop themselves, just like the players, into the future stars of the college and professional coaching ranks.The Northwoods League has become a hot bed for excellent coaching. Many of the league’s coaches were once MLB and Minor League Baseball players and coaches including Twins star Al Newman, Donnie Scott, Duffy Dyer and one is even the current skipper for the New York Mets, Terry Collins.
Will Flynt is entering his first season as the Bismarck Larks head coach and field manager. Will is a former professional baseball player who played with the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles organizations.
His baseball career lead him all over the United States, Netherlands, Mexico, Taiwan and Japan. He later worked as a coach in the Frontier League. He recently won the NWL’s Coach of the Year award in 2019 in his first year with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, earning a 46–26 overall record.
Will was primarily a pitcher in his professional playing years. He played all over the world from ages 23-35 in 1991-2003. Much of that time was spent in AAA minor leagues and foreign leagues. Over all these different levels of competition, he decided 97 wins and 85 loses over 279 games and 1559 innings. He knew how to fan the batter, totaling 1404 strike outs and a 3.70 ERA. He led four leagues in four different countries in strike outs. He set a strike out record in Taiwan.
Will began his coaching career 2005 as the pitching coach for the Florence Freedom and the next year he was the pitching coach for the Windy City ThunderBolts. After his time at Windy City, Flynt returned home to help amateurs develop their skills in the Cincinnati area at the Cincinnati Baseball and Sports Academy. In 2019, he had a very successful year coaching the Wisconsin Rapid Rafters in the NWL.
Dallas Bohle is beginning his first season as an assistant coach with the Larks.
Dallas has played on or managed amateur baseball in South Dakota since 1974. He played on two state championship teams for Aberdeen. He spent two years with the Aberdeen Pheasants as their bullpen/catcher coach. Then he managed amateur baseball in Aberdeen and Redfield, SD. Later, he started an over 40 amateur team in SD that won six state titles. Recently, he has been helping manage a baseball group in Arizona.
Ronnie Guiles is in his first season as an assistant coach on Will Flynt’s coaching staff. A graduate of California State University Chico and later National University with credentials in social sciences, Guiles attended San Pasqual High School with Larks Manager Will Flynt. Ronnie’s experience in coaching is wide-ranging coaching at both the junior college and high school ranks in both baseball and basketball for 39 seasons.
During his time as Associate Head Coach in the basketball program at Palomar College, Guiles helped guide his team to three Pacific Coast Conference championships in 2002, 2003 and 2006.
Ronnie later went on to teach US History and Economics at his alma mater, San Pasqual High School in California.
Mitchell Gallagher is beginning his first season as a the Bismarck Bull Moose skipper. In 2017, he played infield for the Larks. He batted .285 in 34 games. He earned 35 hits, 2 home runs, 13 RBI, and 9 stolen bases in a successful season for the Larks.
Mitchell began coaching in 2018 after graduating from Xavier University. In his first season has the infield coach at Palomar, the Comets posted the 4th best fielding percentage in California and finished with a 29-11 overall record. Mitchell is now the Graduate Assistant at Houston Baptist University where he assists with the infield and hitters.
Mitchell spent the first 2 years of college at Pepperdine where they won 2 conference championships and made it to a Super Regional. He transferred to Palomar College where he hit .330 making 2 errors playing 2B, SS and 3B before earning first team all conference honors. After that he finished up at Xavier where he helped them to their 3rd Big East title in 4 years and earned All-Tournament team honors as the Musketeers claimed their championship.
As a friend of Bismarck Bull Moose head coach Mitchell Gallagher, Joey Cooper will join the Bull Moose as an assistant coach for the 2020 condensed season.
In 2015, the California native started his collegiate career at Palomar College in 2015, posting a .342 batting average with 41 hits, 22 runs, 14 walks, 13 RBI and seven stolen bases. After transferring to California State University Northridge, he had his best season with the team as a redshirt junior. His 2018 season with the Matadors saw him bat .246 with 35 runs, 47 hits, six doubles, two triples, five home runs, 31 RBI and a .389 on-base percentage. Cooper ranked fifth nationally in hit by pitches with 21. Cooper graduated in 2019 from the CSUN.
Cooper played his summers in the West Coast League for the Portland Pickles, spending three season with the team. He leads the team’s all time records in total games, at-bats and stolen bases. Cooper found his time with the team enjoyable and expressed his excitement in seeing the support from Bismarck.
After visiting Bismarck once in the past and watching friends play the the Northwoods League, Cooper is excited to get out the the city and explore the community.
Mike Steed joins the three-team season in Bismarck after the collapse of the regular Northwoods league season due to COVID-19. Steed inked a three-year contract as the field manager for the Thunder Bay Border Cats in late 2019. Steed will helm the Mandan Flickertails for the 2020 season.
The 49-year-old started in the Northwoods league as a pitching coach for the Border Cats in 2009 before becoming the team’s manager in 2010 and 2011. Steed joined the number one amateur baseball team in Canada, the Ontario Blue Jays, in 2013. He served as a manager, pitching coach and college placement coordinator for the Jays before coming back to the Northwoods.
Although this year is different than a typical Northwoods season, Steed will coach a roster of his American players under the Mandan Flickertails name. Due to Covid-19 international border restrictions, Steed could not make it to Bismarck to start the 2020 season. Flickertails assistant Kyle Mackinnon is the Flickertails acting manager until Steed’s arrival.
Kyle MacKinnon enters his first season as a coach for the Mandan Flickertails. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has shut down across-border travel, MacKinnon becomes the interim manager for the Flickertails in Mike Steed’s absence.
MacKinnon has spent the past four seasons as the Associate Head Coach and Hitting Coach for NAIA McPherson College in Kansas. Prior to his time with the Bulldogs, MacKinnon served as the field manager and general manager of the Burlington Bandits of the semi-professional Intercounty Baseball League for two summers, and earned Manager of the Year in 2015. In addition to coaching, MacKinnon also assists with scouting for Prep Baseball Report Ontario. MacKinnon played catcher for three seasons at OCAA Durham College, leading his team to two conference titles and a pair of National Championship Final Four berths.
Joey Gamache enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Mandan Flickertails. Gamache recently graduated from Springfield College in Springfield, MA where he was a pitcher.
Gamache recently took in 2019 as the Director of Baseball Operations at The Citadel. Gamache is a native of Lebanon, Connecticut.
Brendan Kelly enters his first season as an assistant coach on the Mandan Flickertails coaching staff. Kelly spent the 2020 season with NAIA Cleary University as an assistant. 2020 was Kelly’s first season in coaching after graduating from Purdue-Northwest University. Kelly brings pitching experience to the Flickertails coaching staff, having appeared in 12 games his junior season with Purdue-Northwest and striking out batters 11 times in 24.1 innings.
Prior to his time with Purdue-Northwest, Kelly pitched for Muskegon Junior College in Michigan. Kelly is a native of Grandville, Michigan.