Meet the 2017 Spokane Indians coaching staff - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Meet the 2017 Spokane Indians coaching staff

Courtesy: Spokane Indians Courtesy: Spokane Indians

The Spokane Indians begin their 2017 campaign on Thursday when they host the Boise Hawks on SWX. As always, this year's team will feature many fresh faces on the field, but it's also a new coaching staff. Let's meet the men at the helm of the Spokane Indians for the 2017 season.

Matt Hagen (Manager)

Courtesy: Spokane Indians

For the first time since 2007, the Spokane Indians will have a new manager as Matt Hagen takes over the reigns. The Indians announced in December that long-time manager Tim Hulett would not be back in 2017, after 10 years in Spokane.

This is Hagen's second season in the Texas Rangers organization, but first as a manger. He spent last year on the staff of the Hickory Crawdads, helping lead the Crawdads to a 74-66 record and a third place finish in the South Atlantic League North Division.

Hagen played three seasons of college baseball at Liberty University, spending time at third and first base, as well as catcher. During his time with the Flames, he hit 28 home runs and 77 RBI, while also posting a .303 batting average. In 2002, Hagen set the program record with 157 total bases in a season, a record which still stands today. After his playing days, Hagen spent time on Liberty's strength and conditioning staff in 2008 and 2009.

Though it's his first year in Spokane, Hagen is no stranger to the Northwest League. He was drafted in the 12th round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners, starting his professional career with the Everett AquaSox. He played a total of eleven years between the minor leagues and independent baseball.

Henry "Turtle" Thomas (Assistant Coach)

Courtesy: FIU Athletics

Henry "Turtle" Thomas enters his first year with the Spokane Indians and the Rangers organization, after spending nine seasons as the head coach at Florida International University. During his tenure at FIU, Thomas led the Panthers to three NCAA Tournament appearances and won a total of 282 games. Thomas also led FIU to a pair of Conference USA titles, most recently in 2015.

Thomas began his collegiate coaching career at Clemson in 1978 and also spent time with Georgia Tech, the University of Miami, LSU and Arizona State. While he was a recruiting coordinator, Thomas won national championships in 1999 (Miami) and 2000 (LSU). Thomas has reached the College World Series 14 times with four different schools throughout his career.

Joey Seaver (Pitching Coach)

Courtesy: Spokane Indians

Joey Seaver is back for his second year as pitching coach for the Spokane Indians, after holding the same role during the 2016 season. This is Seaver's fourth overall season with the Texas Rangers organization, joining the team in 2014 following a successful run at the junior college level.

Seaver spent 14 seasons as a pitching coach at his alma mater, Walters State Community College. Seaver was part of six Walter State baseball teams that advanced to the JUCO World Series, including the 2006 national championship team. Seaver pitched at the University of Tennessee and played professionally in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system.

Chase Lambin (Hitting Coach)

Courtesy: Spokane Indians

Chase Lambin is returning to the Spokane Indians as the hitting coach, after spending the 2016 season with the AZL Rangers. Lambin was the Indians assistant coach in 2015.

Lambin was drafted as a shortstop in the 34th round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the New York Mets after spending four years at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He retired from professional baseball in 2014 after spending 11 seasons in the minors and a stint with the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japan Pacific League. Lambin played a total of 1,363 games and had 1,191 hits in his professional playing career.

*The Spokane Indians contributed to this article.

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