04/10/2019 8:33 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – April 10, 2019 – As the Northwest Indiana Oilmen get set to begin their Midwest Collegiate League championship defense, they’ll do so with a new manager in charge.
President Don Popravak has announced that Kevin Tyrrell has taken over as the team’s manager.
“Kevin is a tremendous coach with a track record of success at the collegiate level,” Popravak said. “He will serve as a great leader and role model for our players. He has a tremendous understanding of what it will take to sustain our tradition of excellence. He will strike the right balance between player development and winning that will allow us to be successful in both areas. I look so forward to seeing what our club can accomplish with Kevin leading the way this season.”
Tyrrell is in his first season on staff at the University of Chicago, where he serves as an assistant coach. He spent the last seven years as the head coach at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., leading a successful junior college program.
“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to manage the Oilmen,” Tyrrell said. “I’ve known (former Oilmen manager) Adam Enright for a long time, and I told him I’m well aware that I have some big shoes to fill. It’s important to get our players prepared for their college seasons by getting them as many reps as possible, and that’s how you get better as a team. We need to make the playoffs and then anyone can win, so getting that is going to be our No. 1 priority from Day 1.”
Tyrrell spent one season in the Midwest Collegiate League as the manager of the Rockford Foresters in 2013. During that season, the Foresters served as a traveling team, playing the entire schedule on the road.
“It was a challenging season, but one thing myself and the players always looked forward to was playing games against the Oilmen at Oil City Stadium,” Tyrrell said. “When you’re there and you see the beauty of the stadium, the ambiance of the atmosphere, the excitement of the crowd and the overall gameday experience, there’s nothing quite like it. When our players see what it’s like to play there this summer, I think they’ll understand the tradition of Oilmen baseball right away.”
In each of Tyrrell’s last four seasons as the head coach at College of DuPage, the Chaparrals received votes in the NJCAA Division III Top 10, reaching as high as fourth nationally during the team’s 40-win season in 2016. He won 188 games as the head coach at the College of DuPage while instructing seven NJCAA All-Americans. His teams hit .300 or better in all seven seasons including a .348 team average in 2013. During his stint in DuPage, Tyrrell led a turnaround for a team that had won seven total games in 2011.
Before taking over at DuPage, Tyrrell managed the Upper Deck Cougars travel baseball team, which reached the 2008 15U national championship game in Puerto Rico. A year later, the team won the 16U national title. His squad produced seven players who went on to get drafted and four who went on to play in the big leagues.
Tyrrell played high school baseball at Montini Catholic in Illinois before serving as a three-year captain and four-year letter winner at Lewis University from 2003-2007. He graduated in 2007 with a double major in business administration and management information systems.
“It’s important for me to make sure our players receive a good experience and improve on any weaknesses that their college coaches have identified,” Tyrrell said. “My goal is to help every player on our team prepare for their upcoming baseball seasons. However, an equally important goal is to win games. I believe we’ll be able to accomplish both this summer.”
Tyrrell will be joined on staff by Scott Trcka, who was named the organization’s Director of Player Personnel and Development earlier this week and will also serve as the team’s bench coach and catching instructor. In addition, the Oilmen have announced the hiring of Kyle Klosak as the team’s pitching coach.
Klosak currently serves as the pitching coach at the College of DuPage, where he has helped 43 pitchers receive scholarships from NCAA Division-I, NCAA Division-II and NAIA programs in three years. He has helped the team rack up 93 wins over his first three seasons on staff. Klosak pitched collegiately at Oakton Community College and Lewis University, where he graduated with a degree in sport management in 2015. In addition, Klosak played for Tyrrell during the 2013 MCL season as a member of the Rockford Foresters. The right-handed hurler was a 2013 MCL All-Star.
Tyrrell becomes the third manager of an Oilmen organization that has been a constant winner since the team’s inception in 2012. The Oilmen have posted seven consecutive winning seasons, made seven straight playoff appearances, won three league championships and reached the MCL Championship Series on four occasions. The season will begin on Tuesday, May 28 at DuPage County with the home opener slated for Thursday, June 6, also against the Hounds.