The White Rock Tritons have a new man at the top of the organization – and he comes with some pretty impressive credentials.
Earlier this month, the Tritons – who play in the BC Premier Baseball League – announced the hiring of Marty Lehn as general manager of the program.
Russ Smithson had held the dual title of head coach/GM since joining the U18 squad in 2011, and he confirmed to Peace Arch News Tuesday that he will stay on as coach of the U18 team. Current Junior Tritons (U16) head coach Jordan Broatch will also be back in some capacity, Smithson said.
“Marty’s job is to put the best coaching staff together that he can, and thankfully that includes me,” said Smithson, whose known Lehn “for a lot of years.”
“My role will change a little bit, but that’s OK. I committed to this team and these kids when I took the team over, so I’m happy to be staying on (as coach),” he said.
Lehn will have final say on “all Tritons baseball operations, including the on-field personnel,” according to a release issued by the team.
Though new to the Tritons’ organization, Lehn is no stranger to the Peninsula baseball scene.
A White Rock resident since 1999, Lehn operates the Big League Experience baseball academy and is also an area scout for the Philadelphia Phillies. Prior to joining the Phillies, he scouted for the Milwaukee Brewers for nine years, and was responsible for scouting many PBL players later drafted by the Brewers, including current Blue Jays infielder Brett Lawrie, who starred for the Langley Blaze before turning pro.
As well, Lehn was on the coaching staff of Canada’s 2004 Olympic baseball team, and was either a head coach or assistant for Team Canada at a number of world championships and the 1999 Pan American Games.
“Marty is just the person to catapult our organization to the next level. He is a rare mix of technical competence, managerial strength and has shown that he cares about the players and their ongoing development,” Andy Johnston, board chair of the Tritons association, said in the release.
“He has strong ties in this community and is well-known, liked and respected. We believe that with Marty at the helm, the White Rock Tritons will build a quality program that will attract and retain local, talented players.”
Lehn could not be reached for comment by PAN deadline, but stated in a release that he is “excited about the opportunity to work at the game I have a great passion for.”
This past PBL season, which ended in late July, saw the Tritons qualify for the post-season for the first time since 2009.
The Smithson-led group finished with a 24-24 regular-season record, and lost a first-round, best-of-three series to the Victoria Mariners.
“Four years ago we had a seven-win team, and now we’re a playoff team, so I’m excited to continue (that growth).”