Brian Lewis, Field Manager
After serving as an assistant for the previous three seasons Lewis guided the Loggers to their eighth winning season in the past nine years by posting a 38-33 (.535) mark during his first stint as skipper in 2016. The Lumbermen missed the post-season by 2.5 games, but the 38 wins was the eighth best overall record in the NWL. Under Lewis’ guidance, the Loggers produced a league-high four all-NWL selections in Mason McCoy (Iowa), Griffin Conine (Duke), Cullen Large (William & Mary) and Nick Raquet (William & Mary). The 2016 version of the Loggers enjoyed the long ball as they ranked third in the NWL with 52 homers, led by Conine’s league-leading 16. On the pitching side, the Lumbermen led the NWL in strikeouts as the staff recorded 579 punch-outs, which was the fourth highest team total ever in the 23 years existence of the NWL.
Coach Lewis was credited with bringing two-time Loggers team MVP Mason McCoy to La Crosse with the start of the 2015 season. McCoy went on to become the 2015 NWL MVP and ended his two-year career as the NWL career leader in runs scored (137) and the single-season NWL record holder in hits (112), runs (80), total bases (168), at-bats (305) and games played (71). McCoy also re-wrote the Loggers record book as the everyday shortstop broke nine single season marks and 13 different career records.
Along with serving as the field manager of the Loggers, Lewis is also enjoying his second season as an assistant with the Viterbo (La Crosse) V-Hawks. Prior to joining the V-Hawks, Lewis served as the head coach of the La Crosse Central High School baseball program during the 2014-2015 school year. Before moving to the La Crosse area, Lewis was the hitting coach at Illinois Central College and an assistant coach at Lewis & Clark Community College from 2001-2011. The Alton, Ill. native also coached professionally in the Frontier League (Independent Pro) where he was director of baseball operations as well as the hitting coach for the River City Rascals from 2003-2006. Lewis’ summer collegiate experience dates back to the years 2001-2003 when he was the field manager for the Dubois County Bombers of the Prospect League. During his time in the coaching ranks, Lewis has coached four current and/or former major league players including Joe Thatcher, Cory Wade, Jeff Gray and Justin Christian.
Tom Kinney returns for his second season with the Lumbermen, leading the Loggers pitching staff. Kinney grew up in Morton, Ill. and played at four different colleges including Olney Central College, Illinois Central College, Florida Atlantic University and Bradley University. After Bradley, he signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and went on to win the Rolaids Relief Award of the Arizona Rookie League in 1990. The following year he was converted to a start in the South Atlantic League before being released later that year. Kinney then began a career in law enforcement and is a retired office from Aurora, Ill. After retirement from the police force Kinney began coaching at Waubonsee Community College for three years and then moved on to Illinois Central College for three years. Kinney has since returned to Waubanosee where he currently serves as their pitching coach. Tom has been married to his wife, Kim, for nearly 24 years and they have three sons (Thomas, Kyle and Chase).