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Head Coach Gathers Staff Around Table for 2023!


Coffin, Brown, Weger & Flasch Join With Appetite to Win!

The Edmonton Riverhawks and Head Coach Jake Lanferman have stacked the dugout with a line-up of experienced and fun-loving coaches who are eating up the opportunity to help lead the West Coast League team! Ray Brown, Nolan Wegner, Dylan Flasch and Nathan Coffin will no doubt help develop great players but they also have an appetite for fun!

In the Riverhawks family, Pitching Coach Ray Brown is the big cheese of the mound. The 74-year-old brings decades of experience and enthusiasm to the team. He’s had a very accomplished baseball career, starting out in California, where he was drafted as a pitcher by the Kansas City Royals. He eventually brought his glove north to play in Alberta, where he put down roots. The proud grandfather and his wife Lynn now split their time between Las Vegas and St. Albert to be near family.

The professional scout also developed high performance baseball programs here and around the world. He coached the Edmonton Tigers, Edmonton Prospects and, most recently, the Fort McMurray Giants. Brown is excited to work with Head Coach Lanferman and mentor the players. “My job here is to develop people with good character. I teach them discipline, how to deal with teammates, fix their own problems, stay positive and hopefully these kinds of quality people will play great baseball!”

Brown knew from age 10, when he saw the Los Angeles Dodgers, that he wanted to find a way to “get paid to play the game.” These days he says, “I don’t want to go golfing. I’m quite happy just going to the ballpark, hitting ground balls, throwing batting practice and digging up the weeds. I’ve got a one track mind. That’s what I do. I do baseball.”

He may have a one track mind for the game but admits he loves a two stack burger: “A “Big Mac!" I’m a fast food junkie!” adds the man who once worked at McDonald’s in a previous lifetime!

New Hitting Coach Nolan Weger is a hot dog lover at heart. “I prefer them well cooked, expertly turned on the grill with a bit of sauteed onions, mustard and ketchup.” Weger’s got the intellectual ability to figure out exactly how to achieve this. He studied body mechanics and is a recent graduate in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia.

The impressive third baseman played with Coach Lanferman for years at UBC. A solid slugger and “Master of T-Ball,” he loved to light up neighbourhood parks as a kid on Vancouver Island. “That was so much fun. We used to hit the balls way back into the trees and watch them roll into the bushes.”

Weger has lived in three different provinces and is excited to join the Riverhawks in Edmonton for new adventures in his career. In addition to coaching, he works in a Sports Medicine clinic in the city. “I think with my experience and education I can see what the average coach might not at first. I can pick apart swings and help determine how to adjust players’ body mechanics for better results.”

Now he wishes if he could only figure out how to improve his golf swing….

Also fresh to the team is Assistant Coach Dylan Flasch. The Lloydminster native played minor ball and was in the Canada Cup and Toronto Blue Jays Tournament at age 12. He left his home base at 16 to attend the Badlands Baseball Academy. “It was a super cool experience. I think it makes you grow up quickly. My host family was like a second family to me and they still keep in touch.”

The All-Star player went on to the Lethbridge Bulls and college, where the infielder earned a Diploma in Business Administration. He has been an assistant coach at Badlands Baseball Academy, head coach of a U18 AAA team and was recently Baseball Operations Manager at The Dome in Red Deer.

Flasch baked up a neat way to win as a player. “If it was game day and I had a good game the day prior, I would try and eat the same thing. Not sure if that actually worked or not but it was something that I did,” he laughs. Now as a coach, he sticks to munching on scouting reports and analysing the stats.

So what does he eat with his busy schedule? “The quick food at the ballpark - hotdogs and hamburgers - would definitely be a weakness of mine,” he says. “Being new, I haven’t had any of the food at RE/MAX yet but I hear it’s great. I’m excited for that … almost as much as the coaching!”

“My favourite ballpark food is burgers and potato chips,” laughs second year Bench Coach Nathan Coffin. “And down at RE/MAX Field, I’ve had some really good cheeseburgers,” he happily adds, patting his belly.

Baseball has been in Coffin’s blood before he was even on solid food. “Literally the day I came out of the hospital, I didn’t go home; I went straight to my dad’s ball game.” Growing up, Coffin’s extended family enjoyed playing slow-pitch games together for over twenty years! He fondly recalls seeing the Edmonton Trappers team with his grandpa who had season tickets back in the day.

Now he’s part of creating new exciting memories at the stadium. “I loved the Canada Day Game last year. It was really cool to look up in the stands, see my friends and family in the stands and watch them come get autographs from players on the field. My best friend’s four-year-old son had an absolute blast and wants to play baseball now!”

The former catcher played Midget AAA in St. Albert, attended the baseball academy in Lethbridge and then went on to the University of Alberta baseball club. That turned into coaching the Hawks Collegiate team, where he’s been since 2016. “I just love being around the Riverhawks team,” reflects Coach Coffin. “I never had any brothers growing up, so growing up being around baseball, it’s like having a bunch of brothers.”

So come on down and help us welcome the entire coaching staff this coming season, which starts at home June 13. You never know who you might see out on the field - or standing next to you in line at the concession booth - grabbing a delicious bite, enjoying baseball and relishing a good time!