PRESS RELEASE – Forest City Owls Baseball announced on Tuesday that Cory Dirksen, who had most recently been the Associate General Manager for UTEP/IMG, is the new Owls General Manager. Dirksen’s wife, Christina Dirksen will join the team as Director of Group Sales.
The Owls will introduce Dirksen to the media and the public in a meet and greet on Friday February 7, from 3-to-5 p.m. at the Owls offices located at 353 West Main Street, Forest City.
Media unable to attend the meet and greet can schedule a one-on-one interview with Dirksen for earlier in the day.
“We are tremendously excited to bring someone into our organization like Cory,” said Managing Partner Jesse Cole. “His experience and knowledge of running franchises is second to none. We consider ourselves very lucky to have Cory and his wife, Christina as not only part of the Owls organization but part of the Forest City community. We are expecting big things from them this season and can’t wait until Opening Night!”
Dirksen’s knowledge and baseball acumen have helped start or turnaround three different minor league baseball franchises. He is known for creating a fun atmosphere and improving the professionalism of the staff, resulting in increased attendance.
Dirksen spent the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons working for the Austin Toros, the NBA Development League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs. During his first season with the Toros, Dirksen doubled group sales and increased overall attendance by 500 per game en route to a league championship.
Prior to his time in Austin, Dirksen spent 5 seasons as the General Manager of the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings of United League Baseball. While leading the franchise, the WhiteWings led the league in group sales, increased attendance every year and made three trips to the playoffs, including two to the championship series.
The WhiteWings are not the only team the veteran baseball executive has led. Dirksen spent time as the General Manager of the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Frontier League, where he turned around a struggling franchise. Previously, he spent time as the Director of Sales and Scouting for the Rockford RiverHawks, where they led the league in group sales and won the league championship.
“Forest City has previously been one of the best organizations in the nation,” Dirksen said. “I want to give fans a reason to come back. We are going to create so much fun at the ballpark that a lot of the fans will leave with a smile not even knowing who won. I want to create the place for local companies, organizations and families to spend their summer. We are going to roll together a baseball game, a carnival and the county fair into one experience.”
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. The CPL has had over 1,100 alumni drafted and 65 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at CoastalPlain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at http://www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as CPLBaseball).