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Hurley new Thunder GM/COO

Jeff HurleyChanging of the guard with the Trenton Thunder (Class AA; Eastern League), where Jeff Hurley will take over as the team’s general manager and chief operating officer from Will Smith beginning on September 8, 2015.

Smith, meanwhile, is taking on a fascinating challenge (more on this in a moment), signing on as president and operating partner with the Staten Island Yankees (Short Season A; NY-Penn League).

Back to Hurley, who becomes the fifth general manager in the Thunder’s 22-year history following Wayne Hodes (1994-1999), Rick Brenner (2000-2005), Brad Taylor (2006-2008) and Will Smith (2009-2015). That’s some pretty august company: Brenner is successful as president and GM of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Class AA; Eastern League), while Taylor is GM of the successful El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). A native of Hamilton, N.J., Hurley played baseball at nearby Steinert High School and was a pitcher at DeSales University in Allentown, Pa. before joining the Thunder front office as an intern in 2004.

Hurley was hired as a group sales representative following the 2004 season and has held the titles of media relations assistant, community relations and baseball operations manager, baseball operations and accounting manager, director of finance and baseball operations and chief financial officer over his years with the Thunder.

As chief financial officer, Hurley oversaw the financials for both Garden State Baseball and Food Service America in addition to handling all of the team’s baseball operations.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to become general manager of the Thunder,” said Hurley. “Throughout my 12 seasons you can probably imagine how much the Thunder organization means to me and I can say I am truly humbled.”

In addition to his role with the Thunder, Hurley has served as a member of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Young Professionals organization since 2013 and was recently elected to the Board of Directors for The Miracle League of Mercer County.

Hurley is a resident of Robbinsville, N.J. where he lives with his girlfriend Kacie and their dog Maddux, who was adopted through the NorthStar Vets Dog of the Day program three years ago.

“After conducting a nationwide search over the last few weeks, we found that the right person for us was already a member of our family,” said Thunder President Joe Finley. “Jeff brings the right combination of experience, energy and expertise and we are excited to have him lead the Thunder into our next chapter.”

As mentioned, Smith is signing on as president and operating partner with the Staten Island Yankees. The team is most certainly in a transitional phase: as the area around Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George changes (a retail outlet mall and 630-foot Ferris wheel are slated for construction right next to the ballpark), so will the marketing strategies of the team. Changes were made for 2015, and we expect a whole lot more planned for 2016 under Smith’s leadership.

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