The Fairbanks Goldpanners’ 2013 coaching staff steps into large shoes following the retirement of longtime field manager Jim Dietz, who announced his retirement at the end of the 2012 season. Dietz, who spent 16 years with the organization in three stints over a 43-season span, stepped aside with an overall record of 585 wins — which is not only the best among Panner mentors, but believed to be the most wins posted ever in collegiate summer baseball.
The new Panners coach is Bryan Harris, assistant to Don Sneddon at Santa Ana College. He has a strong background in collegiate and summer baseball. He was a two-time all-star in the Cape Cod League and appeared in Fairbanks to participate in the 2003 Midnight Sun Game with the Southern California Running Birds.
Last summer, Harris led the Southern California Blaze to the Orange County Collegiate League championship. He worked several years with youth travel teams and his Tustin Thunder won back-to-back California titles.
The Seattle Mariners drafted Harris out of Fullerton and he spent several years in the minor leagues before winding up at Santa Ana for the 2011 season.
Oilers Corner is provided by James Clark, the general manager of the Alaska Baseball League team.