By: Brandon Vickrey
Whiting, Ind. – Oct. 1, 2014 – Officially, there will be a new manager of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen for the 2015 season. However, the name of the first-year skipper is one Oilmen fans may recognize.
Adam Enright, who has served as an assistant coach for the last three years, has been promoted to the managerial position. Enright replaces Justin Huisman, who stepped down to spend more time with his family.
For Enright, also an assistant coach under Huisman at Trinity Christian College, the 2015 Midwest Collegiate League campaign will be a maiden voyage in taking the reigns as a head coach or manager.
“Hopefully, me stepping in will be seamless because I’ve been around for the last three years,” Enright said. “I work with Justin every day. The managerial role is something I’ve seen done very well by Justin over the last three years, and I’m not going to try to reinvent the wheel in any way. I’m going to take a lot of what he did and implement it.”
Enright raved about Huisman’s professionalism, even-keeled demeanor and ability to handle a pitching staff, all traits he plans to emulate in his new role.
After graduating from Munster High School, Enright continued his playing career at South Suburban College and the University of Southern Indiana. He helped the Screaming Eagles to the NCAA Division-II national championship in 2010.
Munster coach Bob Shinkan has fond memories of coaching Enright, a member of one of the Mustangs’ most recent final four teams.
“He just loves the game of baseball,” Shinkan said. “When he won the national championship with his college team, he called me from the field. I thought that was one of the greatest compliments of my career that a player, in their time of glory, remembered me and called me right after it happened. I’ll never forget that.”
Enright will never forget the national championship season either, although there may be parts of the experience that are now a blur in his mind.
“It hits you so fast and things move so quickly; we had so many things fall into place right away,” Enright said. “I still talk with many guys from that team. Those are relationships that I’ll hold close to my heart forever, just because of the journey we went through together.”
Among the people from the University of Southern Indiana that hold a special place in Enright’s heart is head coach Tracy Archuleta.
“He was a guy who you felt bad for if you let him down,” Enright said. “You knew he had a lot invested in you and he cared a lot about you. Having a coach like him and playing at USI was eye-opening for me as far as college baseball is concerned.”
Oilmen President Don Popravak expressed his delight at having a candidate of Enright’s caliber ready to step in.
“We have seen tremendous growth in Adam’s ability to work with and help develop the young college players on our club,” Popravak said. “Having acquired three years of coaching experience under the guidance of our former manager Justin Huisman will serve him well as the Oilmen pursue the Midwest Collegiate League Championship in 2015.”
The hire allows the Oilmen to keep a familiar face in charge of the program. Enright is the lone player or coach still with the organization that was a part of the team’s inaugural season of 2012.
“I’m thankful to Don for having the faith of putting a new guy in charge and knowing that it’s going to work out well,” Enright said. “I’m also extremely thankful to Justin for speaking up for me for this job.”
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