The Madison Mallards have named Madison native C.J. Thieleke (pronounced Tee-la-kee) Head Coach for the 2005 season, Mallards General Manager Vern Stenman announced Tuesday. Thieleke, who has been an assistant with the Mallards the past two seasons, becomes the fourth Head Coach in the history of the franchise. In his two seasons as an assistant Thieleke helped the Mallards to an 85-50 record, including two playoff appearances and the 2004 Northwoods League Championship. In addition to coaching first base, Thieleke worked as the hitting and infield coach the past two seasons.
?We are excited to give C.J. this opportunity,? Mallards General Manager Vern Stenman said. ?We feel that C.J. is passionate about the Mallards and the Madison community. He is the best man for the job and he will continue to provide exciting baseball at the Duck Pond for the years to come.?
Thieleke is currently in his first season as an assistant coach at Madison Area Technical College in Madison. Prior to coming to MATC, Thieleke served as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, the University of Iowa for two seasons. During his time at Iowa he was the only volunteer assistant in the country to also serve as the team?s third base coach. Before coming to Iowa, Thieleke was an assistant for three seasons at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In his three years at Mount Mercy, he helped the team to 122-63 record and three NAIA playoff appearances.
?I just look forward to the opportunity to be in Madison and work with the Mallards. This is a tremendous opportunity,? Thieleke said. ?I?m excited to be in this position and serve the Mallards the best I can. I?ll make no predictions other than that our guys will play hard.?
Thieleke started his coaching career after a two-year stint in the Minnesota Twins minor league system. He was drafted by the Twins in the 32nd round of the 1996 amateur draft after lettering for three years at Iowa. Thieleke started every game in his three-year career at Iowa earning 1994 Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors and being named Third Team All-Big Ten in 1995 and 1996. During his college career, he played for one season in the Central Illinois Collegiate League and one year in the Alaskan Baseball League. Thieleke was signed by the Waterloo Bucks of the Northwoods League in 1996, but only appeared in one exhibition game before signing with the Twins.