The Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League are pleased today to be able to announce contract extensions for two key members of the organization, and to add another piece to the baseball-side structure.
The moves today, announced at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP, are part of a comprehensive long-term plan to keep the HarbourCats moving forward both on and off the field.
Head Coach Brian McRae, a former MLB star with 10 years at that level, and the ownership group of the HarbourCats — Rich Harder, John Wilson, Ken Swanson and Jim Swanson — have agreed to a three-year contract extension, that will see him stay in the manager’s role through to the 2021 season.
The ownership group is also pleased to announce that General Manager Brad Norris-Jones has agreed to a five-year extension, through the 2023 season, that will allow the team’s marketing efforts, recruiting and operational strategies to be cemented, with long-range objectives benefiting the HarbourCats and the community.
Added to the baseball-side team today is Tyler Green of Victoria, named Director of Player Personnel. Green will support Jim Swanson, Norris-Jones, McRae and his coaching staff, and Host Family Coordinator Katrinka Green (his wife), in the recruiting and athlete-experience aspects of the HarbourCats.
“We are pleased to have Brian, with his experience, secured with us for three years, with what he brings not just to the HarbourCats but also to the West Coast League on the whole,” said Jim Swanson.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with him for two seasons, and to watch our networks with college programs not just be solidified, but grow. We now have players from Canada, across the entire US, and around the world, and that’s due in part to Brian’s efforts. He’s fallen in love with Victoria and is tremendous with our fans and sponsors, and this extension will see him become more involved in the team in the off-season as well.
“Off the field, this has become a team of people working toward a common goal. Brad and our operational and marketing team, including John Pollard, Christian Stewart, Curtis Pelletier and Richard Michaels, continue to find creative ways to add entertainment and marketing options. Plus, bringing Tyler to the fold will strengthen our ability to attract and track top college players.
“Today’s announcements signal both stability and growth, and that’s good for Victoria, which saw a lot of transience with baseball — no more. We are all making a commitment to making this the best organization in collegiate summer baseball, and working hard for our fans and supporters.”
McRae, 50, played for the Royals, Cubs, Mets, Rockies and Blue Jays, and never played a position other than centre field despite being drafted as an infielder. As a rookie manager in the WCL, he led the team to a 29-25 record in 2017 and to within one win of the league title. He is the son of former MLB manager Hal McRae, who also happened to be skipper of the Royals when B-Mac made his MLB debut.
Norris-Jones, a life-long resident of Victoria, is a HarbourCats original, as he and one other organizational member are the only two who have been with the club since the 2013 season. Norris-Jones was named GM in 2016, and fills key roles with areas ranging from recruiting to marketing to game-day operations. His college baseball networks really began to grow when son Kelly, a catcher drafted by the Blue Jays in 2010, started attending the University of Illinois, and no one in Victoria comes close to knowing the college baseball system as Norris-Jones.
Green, 44, is a Victoria resident who has been an informal helper with compiling information on the team’s players, and has a strong grasp of the college baseball scene. That assistance is now formalized with today’s announcement, to assist with formation of the 2019 roster.
About The Victoria HarbourCats
The HarbourCats are Victoria’s entry in the West Coast League (WCL), a summer, collegiate, wood bat baseball league, featuring the top college-age players from across North America and the world. One of the elite teams in the league, the HarbourCats won a record 40 games in 2016 and followed that up in 2017 as the WCL’s North Division Playoff Champions, coming one game short of their first ever WCL Championship. In 2018, their sixth season, the team will play a 54-game regular season schedule, with 27 of those games and eight additional non-league games, being played at Wilson’s Group Stadium at historic Royal Athletic Park in Victoria. Opening night is June 1, 2018 with games scheduled through mid-August. See harbourcats.com for more details.
2018 Tickets Now on Sale: Season Tickets, Ticket Packs, 10-Game Flex-Packs and Single Game tickets are now on sale for the 2018 season. Visit the office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street or call 778-265-0327 to order. Single game tickets can also be purchased on-line at harbourcats.ticketrocket.co