To a manager that has garnered a number of awards in his nine years of coaching in the Northwoods League and has done nothing but win games wherever he has coached, here is one more honor to add to Darrell Handelsman?s collection: NWL Manager of the Decade. The NWL recently bestowed the honor upon Handelsman, the league?s all-time winningest coach, and holder of one league championship.
Handelsman has spent three years coaching at Kenosha, four at Waterloo, and is currently in his second season with Madison. In just his first year with the Mallards in 2003, Handelsman helped the team set records for wins (38), stolen bases (155), runs (277), and ERA (3.21), as he steered the team towards a first half championship, and into its first postseason.
NWL President Dick Radatz, Jr. is well aware of what Handelsman has accomplished in his coaching tenure, and is wholeheartedly convinced of the league?s selection.
?He?s very deserving, stated Radadtz, Jr. ?Obviously he?s the winningest coach in NWL history. He has a competitive team year in and year out and you know when you?re going against him you are in for a dogfight.?
Mallards General Manager Vern Stenman can attest to what Handelsman brings to the table?he?s been on the other side, going up against Handelsman when he was with Waterloo.
?I remember he brought out a team that certainly didn?t look imposing, and perhaps should not have even been in the league,? recalls Stenman. ?But Darrell would beat us every time.?
As the 9-4 Mallards continue their quest towards a playoff spot again this season, and hopefully a league championship, Handelsman is leading the charge, which should come as no surprise. After all, it is just another feat awaiting a proven and capable coach.
?Back in 2001, Darrell coached the NWL All-Stars to victory in an exhibition game against Team USA, 1-0,? remembers Radatz, Jr. ?No team has ever shutout Team USA.?
For more information on Handelsman?s award and his coaching career, consult the article about him in Thursday?s Wisconsin State Journal online at www.madison.com.