Orem brings back Kotchman for seventh year

The Orem Owlz announce that manager Tom Kotchman will be returning to manage the club in 2007. Kotchman, the only manager the organization has ever had, will mark 2007 as his seventh in Utah.

In addition to Kotchman, the Owlz field staff from 2006 will remain intact, with Orem native Zeke Zimmerman returning as pitching coach and Francisco Matos as hitting coach, with Utah County resident and BYU faculty member Aaron Wells as athletic trainer. "Anytime you have the best in the game leading your team, it's a good thing," said OWLZ general manager Zachary Fraser. "We are excited to have Tom, Zeke, Frankie, and Aaron back to lead our club to another championship season."

"We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Owlz organization," said Tony Reagins, Angels director of player development. "We feel that the staff we have assembled is the best in the Pioneer League and we look forward to providing quality baseball to the community of Orem for many years to come."

Kotchman, of Seminole, Florida, is the active leader among all Minor League managers in victories. With last season's record of 45-31, Kotchman's career record is 1,453 - 1,235 (.541). He has guided the franchise to five appearances in the Pioneer League Championship Series, winning the title in 2004 and 2005. While in Utah, he has managed Casey Kotchman, Dallas MacPherson, Jeff Mathis, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, Bobby Wilson, Nick Gorneault, Reggie Willits, and Jose Arredondo, all of whom are now on the Angels 40-man roster, in addition to dozens of other prospects currently in the Angels system.

Zimmerman, who grew up in Orem, is a product of Weber State University and was later drafter by the St. Louis Cardinals. He was the first professional pitching coach in Utah County, joining Kotchman's staff in 2001. Prior to Utah County, Zimmerman and Kotchman coached for six years together in Boise, Idaho.

Matos, a native of Santo Domingo, DR, is a newcomer to the Angels' organization. A 16-year minor league playing career, wherein he batted .292 with 491 RBI, earned him many honors including Player of the Year and MVP. Matos was a member of the Oakland Athletics in 1994, hitting .250 in 14 regular-season games.

Wells, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, will return to the club as athletic trainer after a year with the AA Arkansas Travelers (Texas League). He was the team trainer from 2003-2005. He currently is an instructor of exercise science at BYU.

The Owlz begin the 2007 season at home June 19 against their I-15 rival Ogden Raptors. Season tickets are now available.

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