MoonDogs Finalize 2010 Coaching Staff

(Mankato, MN) The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club is proud to announce the signing of two assistant coaches for the 2010 season. Jim Murphy of Osceola High School (Osceola, FL) and Dennis Vilela of Missouri Southern (Joplin, MO) will be joining field manager Mike Orchard on the MoonDogs bench.

Murphy has been working in baseball for 41 years. He is currently in his tenth year as the head coach at Osceola High School. He spent two years with Iowa University before moving to Florida.

Murphy was the high school head coach of MoonDogs Manager Mike Orchard at Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa. He led them to State Championships in 1992, 1993 and 1995. Orchard was a member of the 1992 State Championship team. Murphy has been inducted into Iowa High School Baseball Hall Of Fame.

“Jim has been my coaching mentor for the last ten years and he is an Iowa coaching legend, Manager Mike Orchard said. “His years of wisdom and approach to hitting will be a huge asset for the MoonDogs in 2010.”

Murphy has had 11 former players drafted and over 500 players continue their baseball careers in college. He has served as Head Coach of Winter Haven in the Florida Collegiate summer league. Murphy has also been an associate scout with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays since 1973. He and his wife Kathy have two sons and a daughter. They also have four grandchildren.

Vilela has been an assistant coach at Missouri Southern for the past two season after spending 10 years as a high school baseball coach. Also, he spent four years at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kansas. His primary jobs were working with the hitters and catchers. He also was involved with recruiting.

He has spent many summers coaching baseball and traveled to New Jersey to coach in the ACCBL. After his summer in New Jersey he became the assistant coach of the Joplin Slashers, a collegiate summer team out of the Jayhawk League. After two years as assistant for the Slashers he went on to be the head coach for the next two years.

“Dennis is super enthusiastic about coaching in Mankato this summer and brings a lot of experience to the table,” Orchard said. “We are looking forward to having him in the MoonDogs dugout this season.”

Vilela has also been an associate scout with the Boston Red Sox for the last nine years and has had 22 former players that have been drafted or went on to play professional baseball. He and his wife Krista live in Columbus, Kansas with their three children Tanner, Emma and Jack.

The MoonDogs home opener is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2 at 7:05 p.m. against the Rochester Honkers. Season tickets are now on sale at the new MoonDogs office located 1221 Caledonia Street, while single game tickets will go on sale in early May. For more information visit the MoonDogs website at or call the MoonDogs office at 507-625-7047.