Its been nearly two months since Gary Van Tol accepted the Boise Hawks manager job.
But it wasnt until Tuesday, when the Hawks parent club the Chicago Cubs announced their minor-league staffs, that his new position really sunk in for the Boise resident.
You step back and say, OK, its really happening, said the 45-year-old Van Tol, a longtime college coach who has been involved in the Treasure Valleys high school baseball scene for the past five years. You pinch yourself.
Van Tols move from bench coach to manager came after an instructional league conversation with Brandon Hyde, the Cubs director of player development. Van Tol told Hyde his longterm goal was to be a minor-league manager.
Soon thereafter Hyde was on the phone, offering Van Tol the chance.
After I swallowed, Van Tol said, I said yes.
Van Tol a former head coach at Treasure Valley Community College and assistant at Portland and Gonzaga had put his career on pause in 2008, when his wife Chrissy became Boise States Senior Womens Administrator. Van Tol cared for the couples four children Gerhig (13), Amaia (11), Peyton (8) and Gibson (5) and worked as a bench coach in the summer.
He also coached the Idaho Cubs, a select team for high school prospects, and hosted two camps for coaches and players. The Cubs said they will work with Van Tol to balance family and coaching.
Bill Buckner will return for his second season as the Hawks hitting coach. David Rosario is back as the teams pitching coach. The Hawks open the 2013 season on June 14 and play their home opener on June 17.