WENATCHEE– Current Yakima Valley Community College coach Kyle Krustangel will be the next head coach of the Wenatchee AppleSox, team co-owner and assistant general manager Ken Osborne announced, Wednesday. Krustangel takes the reigns from former AppleSox coach AJ Proszek and is the fourth coach in the organization’s 18-year history.
Krustangel, a native of Spokane, Wash., helped the YVCC Yaks to an NWAC Championship last season, while also earning NWAC and ABCA Regional Coach of the Year honors.
“We were extremely impressed with the quality of the inquiries we received from across the US and beyond, but when we reviewed all the applicants, it was clear that Kyle Krustangel was our choice for this key position on our team,” Osborne said. “We are excited to have coach Krustangel lead the AppleSox. He comes very well recommended and we feel he is the right person to lead the AppleSox to another WCL title.”
Osborne led the national search for Wenatchee’s newest head coach, and the initial search pool of applicants was narrowed to a group of 40 candidates. Krustangel was a clear leader throughout the process, and impressed the organization as someone with previous head coaching experience, local ties to North Central Washington, and and the skills and contacts needed to recruit a talent-packed roster for the AppleSox. Krustangel was selected as the head coach by a combination of the AppleSox front office personnel and a search committee.
Krustangel took over at Yakima Valley Community College last season, after previously serving as an assistant coach at Whitworth University for one season. He also was the Head Coach of the Spokane Bandits (AAA American Legion) for four seasons, and the Head Varsity Baseball Coach at Bridgeport High School for two seasons.
“As a former player in the WCL, and having seen all that it can provide, I am excited to be back in the league as the coach of the Wenatchee AppleSox,” Krustangel said. “The AppleSox have a rich tradition, and I saw that as a player and as a coach along the way. I’m excited to become a part of the team and build on an already successful franchise. I’d also like to thank team owners Jim Corcoran and Ken Osborne, as well as the search committee, for trusting me with this job, and I’m excited to get to work.”
As a player, Krustangel was a 2009 member of the Spokane RiverHawks, and played for three seasons at Whitworth University, where he owned a career .325 batting average and was named to the NWC all-conference team two times.
Prior to his time as a Whitworth Pirate, Krustangel played at Big Bend Community College for one season, after graduating from Ferris High School in Spokane in 2006.
Krustangel began his coaching career while still in college, coaching youth ages 14-19 each summer from 2009-2012. He took over a baseball program at Bridgeport High School, near Brewster, that had just 12 players to its name. By 2014, Krustangel’s program totaled 41 players with full varsity and junior-varsity teams. Bridgeport made playoff appearances in 2013 and 2014, and Krustangel was the 2014 NWC Coach of the Year. He also was the head football coach for two seasons, and taught ESL and history for three years.
Krustangel’s AAA Legion Bandits, who he played for growing up, acheived 2013 and 2014 League Championships under his direction. They also participated in the 2014 state competition.
At Whitworth University, serving as a hitting, catching, and corner infield coach, the Pirates won the 2015 NWAC Tournament, and earned an NCAA Regional appearance for just the second time in school history. His hitters accumulated a .305 team batting average.
Last season, at YVCC, the Yaks set the NWAC Tournament record with 27-scoreless innings to open tournament play. One of his players went on to win an ABCA Gold Glove, and twelve of his sophomores moved on to four-year schools, while the team attained a 3.05 GPA.
Krustangel will immediately take over recruiting the 2017 AppleSox roster, and will fill out the rest of his coaching staff throughout the offseason.
The Wenatchee AppleSox open their 18th season of play in June, 2017. For moe information, fans can visit www.applesox.com.