MoonDogs Announce 2021 Coaching Staff for 20th Season
MANKATO, Minn. — The Mankato MoonDogs baseball team has officially announced its 2021 Coaching Staff for the 20th season of MoonDogs baseball.
Among the returners are field manager Matt Wollenzin (7th season) and pitching coach Jared Morton (2nd season). The MoonDogs Coaching Staff will also feature a new face in former Major League Baseball player Jack Wilson, who is entering his first season in Mankato.
Matt Wollenzin – Field Manager
Matt Wollenzin is entering his seventh season on the MoonDogs coaching staff and third as the team’s field manager. Over his first two seasons at the helm of MoonDogs baseball, Wollenzin has coached the MoonDogs to a 52-60 mark. Wollenzin, a 2013 all-star catcher for the MoonDogs out of Austin Peay, served under Ryan Kragh as an assistant hitting coach from 2015-2018. “Wolly”, as he is known in Mankato, began his collegiate coaching career in 2016 at the University of Evansville for the Purple Aces before uniting with Kragh to coach at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato for the 2018 season. A native of Lakewood, Colo., he is the Mankato MoonDogs eighth field manager in the organization’s history and one of the longest-tenured personnel in the program’s history, having been around since his playing days in 2013.
Jared Morton – Pitching Coach
Jared Morton will be back for his second season of MoonDogs baseball in 2021. Morton coached MoonDog pitchers while they sported a 5.72 earned run average and .322 opponent batting average last season. Morton, a graduate of the University of California, Riverside, spent a year as the university’s Assistant Director of Baseball Operations before moving into pitching coach position for Mt. San Jacinto College in Menifee, Calif. Today, Morton is a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Evansville Purple Aces baseball team. His playing career saw three seasons for the University of California, Riverside, as a right-handed pitcher. With the Highlanders, Morton posted a 4.46 ERA over 107 innings. Opponents batted .278 and were retired on strikes 76 times and walked just 29 times for a 2.62 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his collegiate career, he recorded nine saves in 73 appearances.
Jack Wilson – Hitting Coach
Jack Wilson is new to Mankato and will be a new addition to the MoonDogs coaching staff in 2021. Wilson, a former Major League Baseball player who took the field in Pittsburgh (2001-09), Seattle (2009-11) and Atlanta (2011-12), will serve as the MoonDogs hitting coach this season. During his 12-season MLB tenure, Wilson batted .265 with 243 doubles, 34 triples and 61 home runs. Over 1,370 games played, he finished his professional career in the MLB with 1,294 hits for 426 runs batted in. Jack’s son, Jacob Wilson, who is a middle infielder and product of Grand Canyon University, will also be in Mankato this year for the 20th season of MoonDogs baseball while also renewing a coaching bond between him and his father. Jack was Jacob’s head coach from his 9th-grade season on through the end of his high school baseball career in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where he is still the head coach of the Lancers to this day.
The 20th season of MoonDogs baseball begins with the LaCrosse Loggers coming to Mankato March 31 at ISG Field.