Jason Chatwood named first head coach of WCBL Sylvan Lake GullsPublished July 26th, 2020
Originally appeared on Red Deer News Now
The Sylvan Lake Gulls officially have their first head coach.
Jason Chatwood signed his name on the dotted line during a press conference Sunday afternoon in Sylvan.
“I’d like to thank the ownership group. I’m super honoured for being named the first ever coach in Gulls history. I think we really have an opportunity to build something special here for Sylvan and central Alberta,” said Chatwood, a former Gonzaga University Bulldog.
“The thing I’m most looking forward to is working with Aqil [Samuel] and starting the recruitment process and doing everything we can to prepare for opening day in 2021.”
Chatwood, who recently turned 33, is a school teacher, and began his education career in Sylvan Lake.
In 2018, it was announced he’d be at the helm of a new baseball academy based out of Red Deer’s St. Joseph High School.
He thanked his wife Heather, as well as sons Tucker and Owen for allowing him to accept the position.
“It’s a big commitment. There’s no chance I could do this without them backing me on this.”
“The next step in our process, and we’ve started already, is to recruit some players, and sell the Gulls to these players as a great place to play and develop their baseball careers,” said Gulls GM and President Aqil Samuel. “We’re getting close with some guys already.”
The Gulls were supposed to debut in the Western Canadian Baseball League this summer, but that was delayed due to the global coronavirus pandemic cancelling the season.
The Gulls will play out of brand new stadium at Pogadl Park, which Samuel noted Sunday is making good progress.
Chatwood grew up playing minor baseball in Innisfail and Red Deer and since 2003 has had several career highlights, including appearances in the Western Canada Summer Games, Canada Cup, World Baseball Challenge and Team Canada/MLB Top Prospects Camp.
In addition to playing for several seasons with the Red Deer Riggers, Chatwood has earned numerous individual awards in college, university and the Western Major Baseball League with the Saskatoon Yellowjackets.
Samuel says Chatwood plans to remain on with St. Joseph Academy, as well as continuing his position as an associate scout for MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks when the Gulls take to the diamond next year.