Lexington, Ill. – December 8, 2013 – After previous stints as a Lexington Snipes player and hitting coach, Tyler Cook is returning to the team in a new capacity. The Snipes have announced that Cook will serve as the team’s manager for the 2014 season.
Cook will be a familiar face for local fans, after growing up in Bloomington and starring in both baseball and football at University High School. The former University of South Carolina Upstate three-year starting outfielder is pursuing a masters’ degree at Belmont and plans to enter the collegiate coaching ranks. Cook replaces Billy DuBois, who will focus on his role as Snipes general manager this season.
“It’s going to be an exciting opportunity for me,” Cook said. “I enjoyed my time playing for Billy. I learned a good philosophy of how he does things. I’m hoping to keep the same philosophy so these kids can enjoy their time and have success in this league.”
This will mark the first time in the 14-year history of the Snipes that DuBois will not be on the diamond as a coach during games. DuBois chose to step down as manager for this season in order to allow Cook the opportunity to gain experience that could help him land a job coaching in the college ranks.
“It’s going to be tough to give up managing, but I have confidence in Tyler,” DuBois said. “If it’s going to help this kid, I’ve got to do it, especially since it’s an ex-Snipe. He gave me his all, so I’ve got to give him a shot.”
Cook hopes to combine what he learned from DuBois and USC Upstate coach Matt Fincher during his managerial career.
“My best memories of my college career are just learning the ins and outs of the game,” Cook said. “My coach down there was one of the best baseball minds I’ve seen. I’m hoping to infuse what I learned from him to what I learned from Billy into my own coaching philosophy.”
The Snipes hold an all-time record of 243-173 and own three league championships as they enter their 14th season in existence. The team is set to begin its second year in the Midwest Collegiate League after a third-place finish and playoff appearance in 2013.
While this marks the first time DuBois will not be a member of the coaching staff, he did take a hiatus from managing from 2005-2008. During that stint, current Lexington High School head coach Dave Lingle managed the team to a 55-28 record with DuBois serving as an assistant coach.
The other 188 Snipe wins came with DuBois at the helm. Cook said much of the Snipes’ success can be credited to the skipper.
“With Billy, it’s just his tenacious attitude,” Cook said. “He’s a guy that is a competitor through and through, every moment of his life. That’s something you’ve got to have when you’re playing baseball. You might not have as much talent, but if you grind out every at-bat and grind out every play, there’s a chance you’re going to win.”
Jeff Doll will return for his 6th season as a Snipes assistant coach, this year serving as third base coach. The Snipes have announced the addition of former Snipe Mike Baker as first base coach. Baker, who played for the team from 2001-2003 and managed the McLean County Stars last season, will join Doll, Cook and pitching coach Brian DuBois to form the 2014 coaching staff.
“I’ve got confidence in my whole crew,” Billy DuBois said. “I have confidence in Tyler. He knows what I expect. I expect to win. If you’re going to play a game and there’s going to be a winner and a loser, you might as well win.”
Cook notched a Snipes MVP Award as a player in 2011 in addition to earning a spot on the Chicago Suburban Baseball League All-Star team that same season. He led Lexington in runs batted in and finished second on the team in total hits.
DuBois’s decision to step away from the dugout for the 2014 season in one example of what makes the Snipes a special team.
“This is my team and it’s taking something away from me, but this is what the Snipe family is all about,” DuBois said. “I’ve had over 300 players, and I know every single one of them. Everybody that gives their all for me, I will help them out no matter what. That’s why I do this.”
Browse by Month »