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Matt Hagen replaces Tim Hulett as Spokane Indians manager

Matt Hagen (Photo courtesy of Spokane Indians)
Matt Hagen (Photo courtesy of Spokane Indians)

The Spokane Indians announced Thursday that Tim Hulett will not manage the team for the 2017 Northwest League season, ending his 10-year tenure with the team.

Matt Hagen will succeed Hulett. Hagen spent last season as the manager in Hickory, the parent-club Texas Rangers’ low-A affiliate.

Hulett said it wasn’t his decision to leave, rather that the Rangers’ organization decided to groom more full-time coaches.

He has no hard feelings.

“(The Rangers) have been very good to me over the years and allowed me to keep my high school job,” Hulett said in a phone interview. “I really appreciate the fact they were able to do that for me.”

Hulett, who spent 12 seasons in the major leagues as a utility infielder, won the NWL championship in 2008 and was named Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2010. He compiled a 371-366 record in 10 seasons with the club. He is currently the head baseball coach at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana.

While Hulett said he will miss the Spokane area and managing the Indians, he is excited to enjoy his time off this summer.

And while he doesn’t expect to manage at the minor-league level in the near future, he said he is open to it if given the opportunity.

“I would definitely entertain it,” he said.

Hagen, who was a 13th-round pick by the Seattle Mariners in the 2002 Major League Baseball draft out of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, played for the Everett AquaSox in the Northwest League in 2002. He last played professionally for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (Independent) in 2012.

“Spokane has a reputation as the premier organization in the Northwest League and I’m truly grateful to be a part of it,” Hagen said in a statement released by the Indians. “It is our goal as a coaching staff that Indians fans will be proud of the way their players approach the game every night.”

Returning from 2016 is pitching coach Joey Seaver, strength and conditioning coach Ed Yong and trainer Luke Teeters. Chase Lamblin replaces Kenny Hook as hitting coach and Turtle Thomas assumes Jared Goedert’s position as coach. Hook is joining Hickory’s staff and Goedert is moving to the Arizona League Rangers, both in similar positions.

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