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Koopmann back as 'Hawks gear up for play in new league

Thursday, December 09, 2010  
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By Doug Goodman
Posted Dec 09, 2010 @ 12:18 AM

ROCKFORD — The Rockford RiverHawks will have plenty of changes when the club begins play in the new North American League next spring.

The man guiding the team on the field, however, will be the same.

Bob Koopmann will return for his seventh year as manager, the club announced Wednesday.

"He is a good baseball man,” said Dave Ciarrachi, co-owner and director of baseball operations. "We have a lot of confidence in him.”

Koopmann has a 291-268 record with the RiverHawks and leads the franchise in all-time managerial wins. Koopmann, who led the RiverHawks to the 2004 Frontier League pennant, also coaches Rockford College’s team.

"It is a great situation,” he said. "I go straight from being finished with the college in May to here, and then back to the college in September when we are done here.”

Koopmann is excited about the challenge of the new league with as many as 20 teams.

"It should be competitive with this many teams,” said Koopmann, who will likely have 75 percent of last year’s roster returning.

Details about the new league, Rockford’s third in three years, will be disclosed after the owners’ meeting next week. The season is expected to begin in the third week of May, and the schedule will include 96 to 102 games. Rockford played 99 games last season in the Northern League.

The league will have teams in the Midwest, West and Texas.

Reporter Doug Goodman can be reached at 815-987-1386 or

This story appeared at on December 9, 2010 and at on December 8, 2010.

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