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Published On: December 19th, 2004

(Mankato, MN)—The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is proud to announce the signing of Robbie Huffstetler as their Head Coach for the 2005 season. Huffstetler is currently an assistant coach at Elon University, in Elon, NC. Elon is a NCAA Division I school.

"I’m looking forward to the 2005 season in Mankato and taking another challenge in my coaching career. It should an exciting summer with the MoonDogs,” Huffstetler said.

The 25-year-old, Whiteville, NC native, is no stranger to college baseball. A former player himself at Appalachian State, Huffstetler is acclimated with summer collegiate ball as both a player and a coach as well. In the summer of 2001, Huffstetler played for the Stark County Terriers of the Great Lakes Summer League and more recently, he has spent the last two summers as the Head Coach of the Thomasville Hi-Toms, of the Coastal Plains League.

In 2003, the Hi-Toms set a league record for total wins in a season with 33, while advancing to the CPL Championship Tourney as the West Division Champions. Their 32-16 regular season record tied the league record for wins and winning percentage. In 2004, under the direction of Huffstetler, the team retained its crown as West Division Champions.

"Being able to bring in a coach with Robbie’s credentials is outstanding. He is a young, up-and-coming coach, who is more than qualified to be the MoonDogs Manager,” said Kyle Mrozek, the MoonDogs General Manager.

The Coastal Plains League, established in 1997 and receiving certification from the NCAA and Major League baseball in 1999, now consists of 12 teams and three divisions. Spread out across North and South Carolina as well as Virginia, the league has produced several big name players. Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas and Mo Vaughn have all spent summers playing in the CPL.

"I’m excited about Robbie. He has a great track record and I think he will help us tap into a baseball- rich area, the Southeast, that we haven’t really explored,” said MoonDogs owner Joe Schwei.

As a former standout athlete at Appalachian State, Huffstetler earned Team MVP honors in 1999, before graduating in 2001, only to return to his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2002. He held that position for two years before joining the division rival Elon University Phoenix coaching staff in 2004. The 2005 season will be Huffstetler’s second with the Elon, where he mainly works as a hitting and outfield coach.

In October of 2003 Huffstetler married his high school sweetheart, the former Rikki Hinson, of Whiteville, NC.