The 2019 Cape League season isn’t much more than a week behind us, but already moves are being made for the 2020 season. This past Friday, 8/16/19, The Hyannis Harbor Hawks announced via Twitter the departure of their long-time manager Chad Gassman for the greener pastures of Waldorf University in Iowa, where he will take over as the Universities Athletic Director. Gassman was previously the head baseball coach at Waldorf from 2007-2011.
Gassman, having just completed his 11th season at the helm in Hyannis – earning him the title of longest serving manager in the team’s history- leaves the Cape with a record of 210-259-14 good for the most wins by any manager in team history, six playoff appearances, three West Division Regular Season titles, and the 2011 Cape League Manager of the Year Award. Gassman will mostly be remembered for the 2015 Harbor Hawks which he coached to the teams first finals appearance since 2000 and had them one win away from their first Cape League Title since 1991. Gassman’s departure comes on the heels of his worst season as a Cape League manager, where his team managed only nine wins and finished last in the West Division.
On a personal note, Coach Gassman was one of the first people I met when I started following the league full time in 2008 when he was Assistant Coach to then Hyannis Mets manager Rick Robinson. Following Robinson’s departure after that season Gassman was promoted and held the job ever since. One of my fondest memories of Cape League baseball is when Coach Gassman came out of the dugout during an inning break to thank my father and I for being loyal fans of the league and thank us for coming to games. He also organized his team to pass around and sign a wooden bat I had brought to the game when I was much younger and was too afraid to ask the team to sign it myself.
With Coach Gassman’s departure the league has lost of the most loyal and dedicated coaches, in the words of long time team volunteer John Cabral, “He made us feel like part of his growing family for the past 12 years. We wish him, his wife, and his three wonderful children all the best in the future. Waldorf University is getting a good one, and Forest City, Iowa is getting five good ones.”
At the time of publication the team has not announced anything about Gassman’s replacement.