The San Luis Obispo Blues summer collegiate baseball team is moving quickly to fill the void left by Chal Fanning’s departure to Austin Peay State University, and general manager Adam Stowe admitted the new manager has some big shoes to fill.
“He will be missed tremendously,” said Stowe, who came on board in 2009. “He was a phenomenal recruiter and he forged so many relationships across the country that he could just pick up the phone and call anyone.”
Stowe, who owns the Blues in a partnership with Jim Galusha, said the Blues will look to hire their new skipper within the next two weeks to not lose any momentum on the recruiting trail.
Fanning spent time as a recruiter at Missouri and Cal Poly, and Stowe said that Fanning’s ability to bring in college players from universities around the nation was second to none.
“I don’t even know if I know a way to say how it’ll be missed,” Stowe said.
Stowe added that he would like the Blues to focus more on bringing aboard players from the area in addition to the talent from Division I schools.
“I want a bigger emphasis on local talent,” he said. “It will hurt the quality of play a bit because a graduate from a local high school might not be the same as the starting third baseman at Tennessee, but I truly believe the Blues should be a local community team.”
Fanning spent 12 seasons as the Blues manager, compiling an overall record of 425-226 before accepting a pitching coach position at Austin Peay on Wednesday.
“I am extremely happy for him,” Stowe said. “If anyone has earned their way back into the college coaching ranks, it’s Chal. He put his heart and soul into this job.”