Chinooks Name New Field Manager
Grafton, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks have reached an agreement with Travis Akre, the head baseball coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, IA, to be their field manager for the 2018 NWL season. Beginning their seventh season in the Northwoods League, one of the premiere summer collegiate baseball leagues in the country, the team’s ownership group is led by Jim Kacmarcik, President of Kapco, Inc. and includes baseball Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Bob Uecker and other local businessmen.
“I’m thrilled to be the next manager of the Lakeshore Chinooks. I would like to thank Jim Kacmarcik, Shawn Kison, and the Chinook’s front office for believing in me to lead the Chinooks. We are going to establish the best roster possible so that we can put the best team on the field for our fans. It’s going to be an exciting summer of Chinook Baseball,” Akre said.
Akre becomes the third head coach of the Chinooks, who play their games at Kapco Park on the campus of Concordia University Wisconsin. Akre replaces Eddy Morgan, the five year head coach and current head coach at Concordia, who stepped down in September with an overall regular season record of 203-154, a 5-4 record in four playoff appearances, and the club’s 2014 Northwoods League Championship. Morgan followed in the footsteps of Lakeshore’s first manager, UW-Whitewater Head Coach John Vodenlich.
“The Lakeshore Chinooks are excited to have Travis on board as our head coach for the 2018 season,” said Lakeshore GM Shawn Kison. “Travis brings 20 years of baseball coaching experience at all levels which will continue to allow us to fulfill our mission of developing the high-caliber college players that fill our roster, both on and off the field.”
Now in his 6th year at Ellsworth, Akre is no stranger to summer collegiate baseball and the Northwoods League as he has regularly placed players throughout the league and with others. Since 2008, Akre has helped develop and coach college players in the Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League and has overseen operations and management throughout the league. Before returning to ECC where he began his collegiate coach as an assistant in 2003, Akre had two successful seasons as an assistant at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. The Fighting Artichokes qualified for the NJCAA DII World Series both years Akre was there, finishing the 2012 year ranked 8th nationally and in 2013 finishing 4th in the country. In his two seasons with Scottsdale, Akre coached two MLB draftees (3rd and 22nd round), a 1st Team All American, a National Gold Glove winner, and 5 All Region players.
In his career, Akre has coached 11 players who have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft and a total of 22 players who have played professionally. Additionally, Akre has coached 15 All-Region players while being at Ellsworth. In 2017 ECC’s Travis Miller was selected as All-District performer and 3rd Team NJCAA All-American.
“I am excited to join the Lakeshore Chinooks and welcome the opportunity to coach in a prestigious league like the Northwoods League. Lakeshore has an outstanding reputation and a loyal fan base. I’m looking forward to helping players develop and to helping them achieve their dreams to become professional players,” said Akre.
Akre has earned his way up the coaching ladder with hard work after a playing career that included stops at Anoka Ramsey Community College in 1999 and Ellsworth Community College in 2000, before finishing his playing career at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN. Born in Decorah, IA, and a graduate of Winona Senior High School in Winona, MN, Akre holds a bachelor’s degree in Education/Exercise Science from Buena Vista University, and currently resides in Iowa Falls.
Kison is convinced Akre is the right man for the job, remarking, “Travis’s knowledge and passion for the game will be evident each night he steps into the dugout at Kapco Park. We welcome Travis to the Lakeshore Chinooks family and look forward to him being a part of our summer of 2018 season.”
The 2018 season is presented by Port Washington State Bank, the official bank of the Lakeshore Chinooks. You can catch your first glimpse of the 2018 Chinooks roster on Friday, June 1st when Lakeshore takes on the Kenosha Kingfish at 6:35pm at Kapco Park. Season tickets, mini game packages, and group tickets are all currently on sale. Single game tickets go on sale to the public in early May. For tickets and more information, call 262-618-4659 or visit lakeshorechinooks.com.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 185 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Chinooks as your favorite team.