FARGO — Michael Schlact is leaving his position with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to chase his baseball dream.
Schlact resigned as the team’s manager, the American Association club announced Friday to take a job as a pitching coach in a Major League Baseball affiliated organization. He was the second manager in franchise history and posted a 67-57 record in his 124 games.
Schlact, 33, said his goal is to coach in the Major Leagues.
“To be able to be in the Major Leagues is my dream,” Schlact said. “This was the first step in the journey.”
Schlact said it was a tough decision to leave the RedHawks after one complete season as the team’s full-time manager. He was named the interim manager on Aug. 13, 2017, and finished out that season before being named the team’s new manager prior to the 2018 campaign.
Prior to taking over as F-M’s manager, he was the team’s pitching coach since 2015.
“I loved what I was doing, I had a hand in everything and I had a great staff around me,” Schlact said. “The decision is hard because you’re stepping into a Major League organization, but you’re stepping away from something that you know. … To leave good people, to leave a great town, to leave a good job, makes it hard.”
RedHawks President and CEO Brad Thom said the team wants to hire a new manager as soon as possible. He added the team plans to retain the current coaching staff that includes Chris Coste, Anthony Renz and Robbie Lopez.
“We want to make sure we get the right fit,” Thom said.
Schlact said he recently accepted the job with the Major League organization, but couldn’t disclose with which organization yet.
“He was the perfect fit for us,” Thom said. “Michael is a great person who has high expectations and ambitions.”
Thom said general manager Matt Rau and player personnel consultant Jeff Bittiger would handle day-to-day team operations until a new manager is hired.
“We’ll do everything we can to put a winning team on the field,” Thom said.
The RedHawks posted a 51-49 record last season and didn’t make the American Association playoffs. They finished in third place in the North Division. F-M hasn't qualified for the postseason since 2103.
Schlact said Major League organizations had contacted him in previous offseasons during his time with the RedHawk. However, this opportunity was the right fit. He thanked the RedHawks organization, including Brad and Bruce Thom, the team’s chairman, and the fans for making him feel at home during his time with the franchise.
“I wasn’t just going to leave Fargo for anything,” Schlact said. “I am grateful. I loved what I was doing, but this was my dream.”