After accepting the resignation of Aric Thomas, the Peninsula Oilers have named Brian Green, an assistant coach at Oregon State University, head coach for the 2001 season.
The move comes about six weeks before the Oilers, the three-time defending Alaska Baseball League champions, open their 2001 season.
Mike Baxter, the baseball operations manager for the Oilers, said the developments aren't exactly ideal, but at the same time they aren't nearly as bad as they could have been.
Thomas, an assistant coach at Oklahoma University, was hired as the 17th manager in Oilers history in late September 2000. He was to replace Gary Adcock, who resigned after two seasons in which he took the Oilers to two ABL titles and second- and fourth-place finishes in the National Baseball Congress World Series.
However, Baxter said due to a shakeup in the coaching staff at Oklahoma, Thomas had been swamped at a time of year when it's important that he has time to devote to finishing up the Oilers roster.
"For the last couple of weeks, we knew this might happen," Baxter said. "It became final late Friday."
Luckily, the Oilers were quickly able to fall back, regroup and tab Green to manage the team. Green was a finalist in the original search for an Oilers coach last fall.
"It could have been a real disaster," Baxter said. "We're real fortunate he was able to step right in.
"It was a real tough call (between Thomas and Green) in the first place. Aric had a leg up on him because he had played here. That aside, it would have been a harder decision."
Baxter said Green, who was traveling with the Oregon State club Monday and could not be reached for comment, has not been to Alaska.
"I guess my only concern is that it's a big change at this time," Baxter said. "I'm very confident in Brian Green's abilities. I'm unsure at this time how he'll be accepted by coaches and players that have been recruited, but I don't see any problems there."
Green is a friend of Adcock, who has the best winning percentage in the club's history, as well as Thomas and Oilers assistants Andrew Checketts and and Rich Hills. Baxter is hoping that will lead to a smooth transition.
Green joined the Oregon State coaching staff in the fall of 2000 after two years as an assistant at Chapman University. Green also has been an assistant at New Mexico State, Cal Poly-Pomona and Riverside Community College with duties that include infield coach, batting coach and recruiting coordinator.
He has a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in education. He has taught courses in movement and exercise science, kinesiology and physical education.
Green played his college ball at Riverside, Chapman and New Mexico State.
He is originally from Temecula, Calif., and enjoys golf and spending time with his wife, Becky.
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