A Canadian will lead the Kamloops NorthPaws into their first West Coast League baseball season.
The expansion franchise named Cole Armstrong of Surrey its head coach in a press release on Thursday.
“It’s a dream come true to return to British Columbia to do what I love,” Armstrong, 37, said in the press release. “I’d like to thank the city of Kamloops, along with the new owners of the NorthPaws, for including me in this opportunity to set a new standard on and off the field in the West Coast League.”
Armstrong began working for the Chicago White Sox in 2014, helping to develop Minor League Baseball prospects, including Seby Zavala, Danny Mendick, Ian Hamilton, Jimmy Lambert, Eloy Jiminez, Zach Collins and Alfredo Gonzalez.
He earned the 2016 Charles Lubin Award, given by the White Sox to a member of the player development staff who demonstrates superior judgment, player communication, motivation and teaching skills in the pursuit of excellence.
The former catcher was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in Round 16 of the 2003 Major League Baseball draft and played 10 minor league seasons, splitting time with the Braves, White Sox, Anaheim Angels and Miami Marlins organizations.
Armstrong, who played 209 games at the AAA level, grew up toiling for the Whalley Chiefs in the British Columbia Premier Baseball League.
He represented Canada internationally from 1999 to 2012, winning a gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Mexico and a bronze medal at the 2009 IBAF World Cup in Panama.
“I am excited to bring future Major League stars to Norbrock Stadium and with it the chance for young fans to interact with them in a setting that only the West Coast League is able to provide,” Armstrong said.