The Bellingham Bells announced today that they have promoted two key front office staff members to expanded roles for the 2016 season. General Manager Nick Caples will assume the new role of Vice President of Operations and Assistant General Manager Stephanie Morrell will be promoted to the role of General Manager.
“This is an extremely exciting time for our organization,” stated team owner Eddie Poplawski. “Nick and Stephanie have helped elevate the Bells’ performance on and off the field to new heights and, in their expanded leadership roles, I anticipate even greater things to come. Nick and Stephanie are first-class professionals whose top-shelf talents, drive, determination and character make for a formidable front-office combination.”
In his new role as Vice President of Operations, Caples will provide operational oversight for all facets of the Bellingham Bells, working to support the long-term growth and overall success of the Bells. Caples will also continue to work extremely closely with sponsorship sales and vendor/partner relationship management.
Caples joined the Bells in 2012 after seven seasons with the Wenatchee AppleSox. In his four seasons as General Manager, the team showed tremendous growth under his direction, rising from an average attendance of 616 in 2011 to 1,300 in 2015. Caples was named West Coast League Executive of the Year in 2012 and 2014.
“It is a very exciting time for the Bells and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with Stephanie to shape the future of our organization,” Caples said. “The support we have received from our community has been humbling over the last five years. It has been a complete team effort from our fans, sponsors, host families, coaches, players and employees that have come together to make this so special.”
As the team’s new General Manager, Morrell will take responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Bellingham Bells, in addition to continuing to support efforts in sponsorship sales, marketing & public relations.
“I am extremely excited for Nick and I to have the opportunity to grow into new roles,” Morrell said. “Though our titles will change, our mission will stay the same. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Nick and our team to help collegiate athletes chase their dreams of playing professional baseball, while at the same time striving to create a game day experience for our fans that is second to none.”
Morrell will enter her third season with the Bells in 2016, after joining the team as Marketing Director in 2014 and fulfilling the Assistant GM role in 2015. Morrell is a 2008 Western Washington University graduate and has lived in Bellingham for over ten years.
“I am extremely appreciative to all who have locked arms with the Bells to support our team and our mission,” Morrell said. “Being able to fulfill a General Manager role for a team I am proud to be part of is really a dream come true. I am so grateful to everyone in the Bells’ family who has supported me along the way.”
Both Caples and Morrell will assume their new positions effective immediately.
Morrell is the third female general manager in the West Coast League and one of five female executives in the league. Morell joins Bre Miller of Corvallis and Katie Biagi of Walla Walla as gms in the league; and Kelsie Marick of Bend and Holly Jones of Corvallis as WCL executives.
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The twelve-year-old, eleven-team, professionally-operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences – not to mention the best summer weather in North America. In 2015, 59 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB June draft, and over 200 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 25 in the big leagues such as MLB home run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (San Francisco) and rising star pitchers Matt Andriese (Tampa Bay) and James Paxton (Seattle). Overall member attendance exceeded 400,000 last season. The 2016 54-game campaign opens Friday, June 3.