FARGO, N.D. (FM RedHawks) -- Interim Field Manager Michael Schlact has been promoted to Field Manager of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, the team announced at a press conference on Thursday at Newman Outdoor Field.
Schlact, 31, becomes the second Field Manager in franchise history. He has served at the RedHawks’ Interim Manager since August 13 when Doug Simunic was relieved of his duties. Under Schlact’s direction in last 24 games, the RedHawks finished 16-8 but finished one win short of the American Association playoff Wild Card. Included in that record were series sweeps of the Sioux City Explorers and the St. Paul Saints, and the team lost consecutive games only once down the stretch.
Schlact joined the RedHawks prior to the 2015 season as the team’s pitching coach. He made the transition from player to coach and brought ten seasons of professional experience to the job. In addition to his managerial duties, Schlact will continue to oversee the RedHawks pitchers.
"I am so excited for this opportunity and this next chapter in the history of the RedHawks organization. I’m very grateful to Bruce and Brad Thom for giving me the chance to manage in Fargo-Moorhead. From the front office to the stadium to the fans, this is a first-class setup,” said Schlact. “I'm looking to the future with excitement & anticipation. There is no better atmosphere in minor league baseball than at Newman Outdoor Field on a summer night. The fans are second to none & each person on that field feels the excitement the atmosphere brings. The goal and vision is to bring meaningful baseball back to Fargo again each September & ultimately win championships."
Schlact began his professional playing career in 2004 after being selected by the Texas Rangers in the third round of that year’s draft out of Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA. Schlact spent seven seasons in the Rangers organization, reaching as high as the Double-A level with the Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas League in 2007-2010. An arm injury caused him to miss most of the 2009 season. Schlact signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the of the Atlantic League in 2011 and returned in 2012, only to see his season cut short by another arm injury. He pitched briefly with the Amarillo Sox of the American Association in 2014 before ending his playing career.
“We knew Michael was the right guy when a veteran came in my office during the last home stand and was wondering if we could take the “interim’ off of his title when we introduced him before the games,” said RedHawks President & CEO Brad Thom. “Every player I have spoken with after the season had nothing but praise for Michael. It was pretty easy to see that the search was going no further.”