09/24/2013 8:50 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – September 24, 2013 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have announced the return of Justin Huisman as the team’s manager for the 2014 season. Huisman, who is entering his third season with the Oilmen, has led the team to back-to-back Midwest Collegiate League Championship Series appearances.
“It will be very exciting,” Huisman said. “We’ve had two very successful seasons, coming up a tad short last year, but winning the championship the first year. Any time you’ve only had two seasons and you’ve made the championship both seasons, you can’t be too upset about that.”
Huisman, who has managed every game in Oilmen history, holds a 61-33 record over his first two years in Northwest Indiana. Huisman also serves as the head coach of the Trinity Christian College Trolls baseball program. During his playing career, the right-handed reliever posted a 3.13 ERA and compiled 90 saves over eight minor-league seasons. Huisman reached the big leagues in 2004, appearing in 14 games for the Kansas City Royals.
“The Oilmen are excited about the return of Justin as our field manager for the 2014 season,” Team President Don Popravak said. “His wealth of baseball knowledge and experience coupled with his ability to get the very best out of his players each and every night is why we are successful on the field. We can’t wait until opening day is here to see the talented players that he is recruiting take to the field.”
The Oilmen, members of the Midwest Collegiate League, feature Division-I baseball players from across the country.
“It’s been fun,” Huisman said. “You mix a lot of personalities, but we’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of good groups of guys that got along great together. I’m sure they’ve made some lifelong friendships along the way, but also just coaching a team with high-caliber talent in a laid-back atmosphere has been great.”
The team has also announced that Munster High School graduate Adam Enright will return for his third season as an assistant coach. Enright recently joined Huisman’s Trinity Christian coaching staff. He previously coached at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Chicago State University.
In addition to managing the team during the season, Huisman’s duties include compiling the team’s roster during the offseason.
“First and foremost, we really try to get as much top-caliber, local talent as we can,” he said. “We want the people of Whiting to recognize a few names of people they grew up with who are off to quality programs. From that point on, we’re just going after as many top-caliber, Division-I players as we can. We’re going after guys who are really going to strive toward the goals that we have as a team and as individuals who are good-character guys that have futures in their programs.”