ROCHESTER, MN (PRESS RELEASE) - The Northwoods League announced that Kyle Mrozek, General Manager of the Mankato MoonDogs, has been named 2009 NWL Executive of the Year. The award, which was decided by a vote of team officials at the League's annual fall meetings this week in Battle Creek, MI, is given annually to the League's outstanding executive. In another vote, the Eau Claire Express became the first league affiliate awarded the Organization of the Year award.
Mrozek recently completed his seventh year as the GM of the MoonDogs. Under his direction the MoonDogs have increased attendance every season, again hitting a new high with 41,786 fans in 2009, an average of 1,266 per game. Those numbers ranked Mankato 7th in the Northwoods League in attendance, their highest ranking in franchise history. The MoonDogs are also coming off their second consecutive playoff appearance.
"Kyle is more than deserving of this Award that his peers have bestowed upon him," said Northwoods League President Dick Radatz, Jr. "After hosting a brilliant Northwoods League All-Star game in 2007, Kyle has continued to improve the MoonDogs operation, bringing it to the level it is at today."
"I am extremely humbled to receive this distinction from my peers in the Northwoods League," said Mrozek. "The MoonDogs success is truly a team effort and this award reflects the dedication and hard work of the entire staff. On behalf of everyone involved in the MoonDogs organization including Assistant General Manager Jessie Hays, I'm honored to accept this award."
New for the Northwoods League in 2009 is the Organization of the Year award, which the Eau Claire Express were honored with after an all-around successful summer at Carson Park. The Express experienced better than a 20% increase in attendance from the previous season jumping from 55,000 to 66,366, resulting in a 2,011 per-game average.
"The success of our season can be attributed to a number of things," Express Owner Bill Rowlett said. "From our many fans and sponsors who supported the Express, to the tireless efforts of our management group, our great staff of student interns and stadium employees, and the ongoing support of the city of Eau Claire Parks and Recreation department who made it all possible."
Most of the Express front office staff has been with the team since its inaugural season in 2005. Rowlett was the team's first General Manager and now is the sole owner. Dale Varsho has been the only Field Manager in Express history but also serves a key role in the front office as Director of Operations. Current General Manager Brett Schroedel recently completed his second year at that post; he began as an intern in 2005. The Express added Andy Neborak to the full-time staff last October after he spent time as an intern for two summers.
"This award is a credit to the entirety of the Express operation," Radatz said. "Between Bill Rowlett and Brett Schroedel's efforts off the field to Dale Varsho's efforts in between they have found the right combination for success in Eau Claire. I look forward to next year's All-Star Game."
The Express will host the 16th Annual Northwoods League All-Star Game in July of 2010.
The Northwoods League plays more games than, draws more fans than, and plays in venues superior to any Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. The Northwoods League completed its 16th season of play in August.
Director of Operations