The Corvallis Knights have hired legendary West Coast League coach Ed Knaggs as their associate head coach/pitching coach for the 2018 season, coach Brooke Knight announced Monday.
Knaggs, 59, was the head coach of the WCL’s Wenatchee AppleSox from 2001-14 and posted a winning record every season. He led Wenatchee to five WCL championships (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012) and two runner-up finishes (2008, 2013).
“I’m very excited to get back into coaching and could not be more excited to be part of the Knights,” said Knaggs, who coached for 34 consecutive years before taking the last three seasons off after leaving the AppleSox. “I feel lucky to be part of an organization I got a chance to be around for quite a few years.
“It will be different to be in the West Coast League in a different uniform, but I can’t think of a better place than Corvallis to do it. I want to do everything I can to help make the experience for the players who come to Corvallis as great as possible.”
Knight said he and Knaggs “had some special battles on the diamond” from 2008 through 2014, when their respective teams were the WCL’s premier franchises. Corvallis and Wenatchee met in the championship series in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013; Corvallis won in 2008 and 2013, Wenatchee in 2009 and 2012.
Knight said Knaggs will be a tremendous addition to an already outstanding staff.
“I believe in democracy within a staff,” Knight said. “I’ve always felt we would be stronger as a team and an organization if everyone felt they had a voice.
“Part of the decision to hire Ed was based on that principle. Add a great human being who can offer sound advice and guidance to our players, and additional wisdom to our coaching staff.”
Knight also announced the return of assistant coaches Youngjin Yoon and Kellen Camus.
Yoon has worked with the Knights the past two seasons. A veteran of 10 seasons with the Lotte Giants in South Korea’s equivalent of Major League Baseball, Yoon has worked in the United States since 2009.
Camus joined the Knights at midseason in 2016 when former pitching coach Connor Lambert took a full-time assistant’s position at the University of Portland. Camus pitched at Washington State from 2011-14, and worked there as a grad assistant in 2014-15. He has been an assistant at Central Washington since 2016.
In earlier news, the Knights have signed two players from Linn-Benton Community College for the 2018 season. They are sophomore right-handed pitcher Trevor Wells, a returnee from the 2017 WCL championship team, and freshman catcher Cole Hamilton.
Wells was 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 12 games last summer, with a save and 12 strikeouts in 21⅓ innings. He had an outstanding freshman season with the Roadrunners, with 11 saves, an 0.94 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 19 innings over 16 appearances.
Hamilton is a left-handed hitter from North Salem. He signed with Western Oregon for the 2016-17 season but did not play in a game. He was a Greater Valley Conference all-star as a pitcher and catcher at North Salem. His older brother, Austin, played for the Knights in 2012.