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Simunic's brings 22 years of recruiting success to Champions player procurement role

2019 April 05

The 61-year-old master recruiter is Ottawa's new Director of Player Procurement. He is still the winningest manager in independent baseball history, with 1,249 victories at the helm of Winnipeg and Fargo-Moorhead. 

OTTAWA – Sebastien Boucher and the rest of the Can-Am League’s managers observe the league’s open tryouts in Florida, attempting to fill the last remaining spots on their rosters.

Boucher doesn’t have much work left to do – and a big reason has to do with a face behind the scenes. 

Doug Simunic, the new director of player procurement for the Champs, was instrumental in building the team’s roster to this point. His role is similar to a scout – he scours the baseball world looking for diamonds in the rough, helping fill out the Champions roster.

He’s the second player procurement director in Champions history. The first was Nick Belmonte, who was with the Champions for its first three years of existence. 

Simunic was hired for a specific reason – his pedigree in independent baseball.

His tenure of success as a manager of multiple Northern League/American Association franchises makes him the most successful manager in the history of the two leagues, and the longest-tenured manager in the history of independent baseball.

He spent a record 21 years at the helm of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The 63-year-old’s tenure ended in the midway point of the 2017 season, and his final record as a skipper truly reflects his longevity for the franchise -- 1,202 wins and 839 losses.

Aside from Simunic’s long tenure in North Dakota, he also has previous ties to Canadian baseball. He helped guide the Winnipeg Goldeyes to their first ever championship in their inaugural Northern League campaign ()

Miles Wolff and the Champions front office figured Simunic could help rookie manager Sebastien Boucher in his first experience recruiting players during an offseason. 

Simunic’s experience in the independent baseball circuit has helped him build a huge base of contacts – essential for the success of any baseball team on the independent circuit.

The networking in baseball operations is crucial so managers have an inside scoop on which players are available, and when. 

This gives the Champions a new, unique edge when prepping for their opponents.