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Gates new GM in Bowling Green

Bowling Green Hot RodsRyan Gates, who built the Lake Erie Crushers (independent; Frontier League) from nothing into a leading indy franchise, is the new general manager of the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Low Class A; Midwest League).

He fills a position left open when team President Brad Taylor earned a promotion in December.

“This is a great day for our franchise and our fans,” said Taylor.  “Ryan brings a wealth of experience and new ideas that will compliment and strengthen the value and entertainment we offer families when they come to the ballpark.”

Gates brings a decade of baseball experience to the Hot Rods, most recently serving at the helm of the Crushers. Under Gates’ leadership, the Crushers average more than 3,100 fans per game, ranking fourth in the independent Frontier League in 2010.  After increasing attendance and revenue each year, and securing the 2011 Frontier League All-Star Game for the club, Gates was named Frontier League Executive of the Year last fall.

“I am honored and excited to join a great franchise and organization,” said Gates, who has held the GM title for his respective teams for the last four seasons.  “I look forward to becoming part of the community and joining a hard-working staff as we get ready for Opening Night and an exciting third season of Hot Rods baseball.”

Before launching the Lake Erie franchise, Gates spent five seasons, the final two as General Manager, with the West Virginia Power (Low Class A; Sally League).  During his run with the Power, the team created a new identity when it opened a new downtown ballpark in 2005. The team also set three consecutive attendance records during his time, including his first year as GM in 2007.

“After a nationwide search for a General Manager to team up with Brad, we couldn’t be more pleased with the selection of Ryan,” said Art Solomon, owner of the Hot Rods and their parent company, DSF Sports. “I’m confident that our fans and the businesses in South Central Kentucky will be really pleased with our choice.”

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