The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Tyler Zunkel Named Manager of Oilmen

Tyler Zunkel
05/07/2024 10:31 AM -

Whiting,IN - May 2nd, 2024 - The Northwest Indiana Oilmen are proud to announce the hiring of Tyler Zunkel to be the manager of the team this season. The new bench boss for the Oilmen brings his impressive resume as a player and coach to the ballclub.  

Don Popravak President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen stated, “After an extensive search for a new manager, we were fortunate to find someone with substantial baseball experience as Tyler to lead the team forward into another successful era for the Oilmen.”  

Zunkel succeeds Adam Enright, who had been on the coaching staff of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen for ten seasons and as its manager for eight seasons from 2013 to 2018 and 2022-2023.  Enright moves into the front office as Director of Player Personnel for the Oilmen.  Don Popravak club President remarked, “Adam is such an important part of the Oilmen Baseball club having won 4 Northern League Championships with Enright as part of the club we are looking for him to continue building competitive championship-caliber teams in his new role.”  

Zunkel will join the team after the completion of the Emory and Henry University season. Tyler currently works as an assistant for the Wasps, a prominent and respected program in NCAA Division II. Zunkel has worked this season on Trey McCall’s staff acting as a hitting coach. The Bees have been hitting the ball well through 49 games this season, boasting 118 extra base hits- 37 of which left the yard. Equally as impressive has been the Bees ability to get on base. Zunkel’s group have walked 194 times this season, giving the team a collective on-base percentage over 100 points better than their batting average (.259 avg, .361 obp). He has also worked as a third base and infield coach at Emory and Henry.  

“Baseball is my whole life”, Zunkel shared. “It’s been everything to me since I was five years old”. Zunkel uses his love of the game to motivate and manage his players. “I am a players coach, I love getting close to my guys. He places great value in building a connection with his team, and using that connection to get results. Zunkel likes his team to play by a simple motto: “Every game is game 7, you have to play every game like it is your last”. Zunkel will bring his expertise and passion to Whiting to keep the team as the class of the Northern League.  

Tyler Zunkel has also overseen immense success as a junior college coach at the College of Dupage from 2019-2023. During his four years with the Chaparral, he assisted 40 student athletes in making their dreams of playing at the next level come true.   Before coaching, Zunkel was quite the player. He started 96 games for the College of Dupage at shortstop, pitcher, and second base. Following his stellar career at DuPage, Zunkel joined the Chicago State Cougars where he appeared in 77 Division I games as a shortstop and second baseman. While playing in the WAC, he got a hit off of current major league pitcher Kyle Bradish, as well as facing Tarik Skubal, the new ace of the Detroit Tigers.    

Tyler Zunkel is also a graduate of Willowbrook High School, where he started in baseball and basketball. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Chicago State University.