THUNDER BAY — The Thunder Bay Border Cats have their new skipper.
The Northwoods League team on Wednesday announced J.M. Kelly has been hired as the club’s manager, taking over the reins from Mike Steed, who left the organization last year to work in the Atlanta Braves organization.
The 26-year-old Buna, Texas native is at present an assistant coach at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and becomes the 16th manager in Border Cats history.
“I am thrilled to be able to manage in such a great summer league like the Northwoods League and I’m really looking forward to coming to Thunder Bay and putting a winning product on the field for the Border Cats loyal fans,” said Kelly, in a release.
“I’m very encouraged how the roster is shaping up and certainly eager to take on the challenge of a 72-game regular season.”
The team returns to Northwoods League play in 2023 after three years on the sidelines because of COVID-19 restrictions at the Canada/U.S. border.
“J.M. was set to be the Border Cats lead assistant coach had we played this past season and came highly recommended by our previous manager Mike Steed. J.M. is extremely well connected at the collegiate level and since we came to an agreement with him to manage the club near the end of August, we already have over 20 player commitments and we’re confident he will continue to build a solid roster for the 2023 season,” said Cats vice-president Bryan Graham.