The Kalamazoo Growlers are excited to announce the hiring of Matt Lawson as Field Manager for the 2016 season. The graduate assistant coach for Missouri State University will begin his third season of coaching after a seven-year professional career.
"We are thrilled to have Matt on board to lead our team on the field this season,” stated Growlers Managing Partner Brian Colopy. “This off-season he has quickly done a tremendous job with our coaches of putting together a roster of players that our organization is excited to see in Kalamazoo. Matt comes to us from one of the top collegiate programs in the country along with a wealth of professional baseball experience."
“It’s a place that I’m excited to come be a part of. We get to compete with some teams that have nationally-ranked, top-tier talent and that excited me as a young coach,” said Lawson.
Lawson began his coaching career in 2014 at Missouri State as an undergraduate assistant. In, 2014, Lawson also managed the Branson Nationals of the MINK Baseball League, an eight-team summer collegiate baseball league.
As a player, Lawson was a three-year letterman at Missouri State from 2005-07, earning second-team All-MVC honors in 2006 and honorable mention All-MVC in 2007. Lawson currently ranks eighth in career assists and double-plays turned.
The second baseman signed with the Texas Rangers in 2007, after the team selected him in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball draft. Lawson earned many accolades during his professional career, including being named a California League (Class A) All-Star and a Texas League (Class AA) All-Star.
Lawson will be the third field manager in Kalamazoo Growlers franchise history, replacing Travis Wade.
“The biggest thing that I can do is to communicate well with young guys,” said Lawson. “It’s going to be a grind in terms of the number of games after a college season. I want the players to enjoy their time playing and the competition.”
Lawson resides in Springfield, Mo. with his wife Mallory, who is an assistant volleyball coach at nearby Evangel University.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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 140 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (KC). All league games are viewable via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com. – See more at: http://northwoodsleague.com/kalamazoo-growlers/2015/12/07/kalamazoo-growlers-2016-schedule-released/#sthash.QyRSxXrM.dpuf