The Rockford Aviators, presented by Pearson, have decided to part ways with third-year manager Rich Austin after a 3-17 start to the season and have named James Frisbie as the new skipper.
"Rich will always be a part of baseball history in Rockford. We love Rich and hope nothing but the best for him," said Aviators President Bryan Wickline. "It's unfortunate that we've had to make this move this early in the season, but we felt it was time for a change in leadership in the clubhouse."
"We are looking forward to changing this around quickly and James is looking forward to the challenge," Wickline said. "Roster changes will continue to happen, especially now that the Major League Draft is completed."
Frisbie brings 12 years of professional coaching experience to Rockford and says he's looking forward this opportunity.
"When the opportunity to work with this ownership group was presented to me, I couldn't turn it down," said Frisbee. "I'm excited to get to Rockford, to evaluate the personnel and find the players that fit my style."
The Kent, Wash. native spent four seasons as a player before beginning his coaching career in 2002 as the pitching coach for the Rio Grande Valley White Wings of the independent Central Baseball League. The next season, he managed the club.
Frisbie was the pitching coach for the Jackson Senators (Central Baseball League) in 2004, Chillicothe Paints (Frontier League) in 2005 and Coastal Bend Aviators (American Association) in 2006.
In 2007, Frisbie managed the South Carolina League's Bradenton Juice to a 47-42 record, an impressive feat considering the Juice had no home stadium that season.
Frisbie then spent three seasons with the American Association's Fort Worth Cats as the pitching coach. While in Fort Worth, Frisbie became familiar with current Rockford coaches Pat O'Sullivan and Dan Grybash, who were players for the Cats.
"I love those guys," said Frisbie of O'Sullivan and Grybash. "I know what they're about and honestly, I wouldn't want to do this without them."
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