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Mustangs Announce 2017 Coaching Staff

Updated February 03 2017

The Martinsville Mustangs are pleased to announce the return of Danny Higginbotham as the team’s Head Coach for the 2017 season. This will be Higginbotham’s second year with the franchise.

In his first year as head coach with the Mustangs Higginbotham led the team to a 24-29 overall record in a season marred by injuries while sporting a 14-11 home record in front of the great fans at Hooker Field.

Higginbotham currently serves as an assistant baseball coach for Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, but is very excited to return to Martinsville for the 2017 CPL season. “I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to continue as Head Coach of the Martinsville Mustangs into the 2017 season,” Higginbotham stated. “I would like to thank GM Brian McConnell for putting his trust in me again this season and I am eager to get back to the city of Martinsville!”

Also making a 2017 return to the Mustangs is Pitching Coach Ryan Vruggink of Mineral Area College. 2016 marked Vruggink’s first year as Mustangs’ Pitching Coach and the organization is very excited to bring him back for the 2017 campaign. “I couldn’t be more excited to announce the return of Ryan Vruggink as our pitching coach,” said Head Coach Danny Higginbotham. “Ryan worked hard last season developing our pitching staff and I am ecstatic to have him back on board. He is a vital asset to the organization.”

The return of Higginbotham and Vruggink mark the first time since 2013 that the Mustangs have brought back members of the previous season’s coaching staff. This level of stability provided by the coaches’ return will be huge for the Mustangs, who look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Joining Vruggink and Higginbotham in Martinsville this summer will be first year Hitting Coach Kevin Soine. Soine has recently completed his second year as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa and is very excited to be joining the Mustangs for the 2017 season. During his playing career, Soine played outfield and pitched for Grand View University in Des Moines, IA and was named to the IIAC all-conference team twice.

In addition to adding key players on the field, Higginbotham stressed he wanted to add players that were high quality men off of it. The Mustangs have high standards for its players off the field and value the relationship between player and Host Family. These values of the organization are also shared by its Head Coach who stated, “I would like to thank all of our host families in advance for all that you do for our players in the summer. We are looking forward to building a team full of quality, hardworking young men.”

When asked about the Higginbotham’s return as Head Coach Mustangs General Manager Brian McConnell replied, “The 2016 season was a step in the right direction for the Mustangs. We are very excited about the future here in Martinsville and we are grateful that Danny will be a part of that.”

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 19th season in 2015, the CPL features 15 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 1,200 alumni drafted and 79 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 and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.

Brendan Neville

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