The Bellingham Bells have promoted Mike Gange to the role of head coach, the team announced yesterday. Gange previously served as an assistant coach for the Bells during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
“We are thrilled to have Mike on board as our manager for the 2016 season,” general manager Nick Caples said. “Mike is a passionate individual who cares deeply about the Bells. Over the past two seasons, we have come to respect him not only for his vast knowledge of the game, but also because of his work ethic, high character and level of commitment to our franchise.”
“I am very excited and appreciative for this opportunity,” Gange continued. “The city of Bellingham and the Bells organization are very important to me. I am very thankful to spend my summers once again in such a beautiful city and community working alongside great people. I want to thank Eddie Poplawski [Bells’ owner] for allowing me to remain part of the Bells’ family as head coach, and also Nick Caples [Bells’ general manager] and Stephanie Morrell [Bells’ assistant general manager] for their continued support throughout this process.”
A native of Marysville, Wash., Gange had a successful prep baseball career at Marysville-Pilchuck High School and then went on to play at Everett Community College and Western Oregon University. While at Western Oregon University, Gange played second base and was named Collegiate Athlete of the Week by the Everett Herald, in addition to being named to the GNAC All-Conference Academic Team. During his time at Western Oregon, Gange also helped lead the Wolves to two league titles and a regional tournament appearance.
In addition to spending the past two summers with the Bellingham Bells, Gange has coached with many select baseball programs based in the Seattle area. In 2013, Gange worked as an associate scout with the Baltimore Orioles and, currently, he serves as a graduate assistant with the University of Washington baseball program.
Gange will assume head coaching duties immediately. He will be joined on staff by pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Jim Clem and assistant coach Dane Siegfried. Gange replaces Jeff James, who managed the Bells in 2014 and 2015 before resigning recently to spend more time with his family and young daughter.
“I really appreciate the support our coaching staff has shown me,” Gange said. “Coach Clem [Bells’ recruiting coordinator & pitching coach] and Coach Siegfried [Bells’ assistant coach] have really welcomed me back with open arms as the new head coach. I also owe a personal thanks to former Bells’ manager Jeff James, my mentor and friend over the past two seasons. I look to carry on the success and tradition Jeff brought to the organization.”