Darrell Handelsman has been hired to lead the Bullfrogs for the 2014 season. A summer collegiate baseball legend, Handelsman is the most successful coach at this level in the country over the last 20 years.
“It is a coup for us to get Darrell to manage this club,” Bullfrogs Vice President and General Manager Liz Kern said. “The stars truly aligned on this one and we couldn’t be happier as an organization to continue to raise the bar on the level of coaching players receive in the Northwoods League. The opportunity for Darrell to focus solely on the baseball side of the Bullfrogs should lead to a memorable summer for Bullfrogs fans.”
Handelsman has spent the past nine years as the Field Manager, Director of Operations and Co-Owner of the Fayetteville SwampDogs, a member of the wood bat Coastal Plain League (CPL). During his nine seasons with the SwampDogs, Handelsman had a record of 288-196. In 2007, Handelsman was named Manager of the Decade by the Coastal Plain League.
"I am very excited to join the Bullfrogs organization,” Handelsman said “I want to thank Steve (Schmitt), Vern (Stenman), Conor (Caloia) and Liz for a wonderful opportunity. I feel fortunate to be teaming with such creative, hardworking, passionate people who are committed to raising the bar. I look forward to getting back in the Northwoods league and competing against the very best. We will work hard to put a competitive team on the field that our fans can be proud of. "
Prior to moving to the Coastal Plain League, Handelsman spent nine years coaching in the Northwoods League. Handelsman spent three years with the then Kenosha Kroakers, four with the Waterloo Bucks and two with the Madison Mallards. Handelsman lead the 2002 Bucks and 2004 Mallards to Northwoods League Championships. He was also named the Northwoods League Manager of the Decade in 2004. During his tenure in the Northwoods League, Handelsman was 300-205. He ranks second all-time in Northwoods League wins to the Eau Claire Express’ Dale Varsho who has 311.
In 2001, Handelsman was awarded the opportunity to coach the Northwoods League All-Stars as they played Team USA for the only time in the history of the NWL. Handelsman coached the team to a 1-0 victory over Team USA that featured Rickie Weeks and other future big leaguers. No team had ever shutout Team USA at the time.
Throughout his tenure he has had six former players go on and play at the Major League level.
Handelsman currently resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina with his wife Jodi and two sons. He is originally from California. Handelsman will move to the Green Bay area for the summer and is in the process of selecting his coaching staff.
Under new ownership since November, the Green Bay Bullfrogs open their eighth season at historic Joannes Stadium on May 27th against the Battle Creek Bombers. The game is slated to start at 7:05pm and gates will open at 6:05pm.
The Green Bay Bullfrogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.greenbaybullfrogs.com.