Press Releases

Manager of the Year Andy Haines Returning to ThunderBolts

Crestwood, Illinois – Andy Haines, the 2007 Frontier League Manager of the Year, has agreed to return to manage the Windy City ThunderBolts in 2008 the team announced this morning. In addition to serving as field manager, Haines has been promoted to Director of Baseball Operations.

Haines made his professional managerial debut in Windy City this summer and took a team that finished 13 games under .500 the previous year and led them to the Frontier League Championship. Haines posted a 68-28 record in 2007, breaking the Frontier League’s record for victories by five while giving the ThunderBolts their first winning record in team history.

Windy City jumped their team batting average by 34 points while lowering their team ERA by .68 runs; the ThunderBolts led the Frontier League in ERA with a 3.63 team mark, .38 runs lower than the next club.

Haines was selected to manage the North team in the 2007 Frontier League All-Star Game and had eight players (the most of any Frontier League team) named to the All-Star team: Josh Horn, Wes Long, Mike Coles, Philip Hawke, Anthony Rebyanski, Brock Hunton, Matt Petty, and Isaac Hess. Coles, an outfielder, and Petty, a relief pitcher, were named to the post-season All-Star Team. The ThunderBolts had two players (Coles and Long) in the top eight in batting in the Frontier League while three pitchers (Hunton, Shawn Phillips, and Billy Phillips) finished in the top eight in ERA.

Haines came to Windy City after spending the past two seasons as the hitting coach for the Gary SouthShore RailCats of the Northern League, helping guide a last-place team to the 2005 Northern League Championship and a runner-up finish in the 2006 Northern League Championship Series. He has won his division in every season of his professional coaching career, guiding the Dubois County Dragons to the Frontier League’s West Division title in 2002. In between Dubois County and Gary, Haines spent three seasons as an Assistant Coach at Middle Tennessee State University, leading the Blue Raiders to the NCAA Tournament twice.
"I am thrilled to be back to manage the club in 2008. I have an ownership group and front office that is very supportive and I am extremely confident in the direction of the entire organization,” said Haines. “The most exciting thing for me is that our fans will get to see some familiar faces on opening day 2008, as we should be able to bring back a majority of our roster. We started to see the stadium filling up the as the season went on, and we'll have a club that will put on another good show in 2008."

A native of Louisville, Illinois, Haines is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University where he was Honorable Mention All-Ohio Valley Conference as a catcher. Haines spends the off-season in Columbia, Tennessee, with his wife Erin who is expecting their first child in April.

The Windy City ThunderBolts are entering their tenth season as members of the Frontier League. The ThunderBolts play at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood and will look to defend their Frontier League Championship starting next May. For more information, please contact the ThunderBolts at 708.489.2255 or visit www.wcthunderbolts.com.


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