Ron Biga to manage Windy City ThunderBolts
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media November 26, 2012 10:28PM
Updated: December 28, 2012 6:25AM
The Windy City ThunderBolts named Chicago native Ron Biga their new manager Monday.
Biga replaces Morgan Burkhart, who resigned Wednesday after one season to become the hitting coach for the Class A Fort Wayne TinCaps, a San Diego Padres affiliate.
Biga, who resides in Joliet, spent the last two seasons as the vice president of baseball operations for the Joliet Slammers, who won the Frontier League title in 2011.
He had agreed to become the T-Bolts’ bench coach and director of baseball operations earlier this month but was offered the opportunity to manage when Burkhart resigned.
“Managing wasn’t something in my plans,” Biga said. “Being a bench coach and being involved in the front office allowed me more time to do other things. But when Morgan took the new job, (T-Bolts majority owner) Mike Stranczek told me ‘Why don’t you just manage?’ I said ‘Sure’. I should fit right in and I’m looking forward to it.”
It will be the first professional managerial job for Biga, 45, who was a standout baseball player at St. Rita and St. Xavier.
He’s spent the past five seasons in the Frontier League, having worked three seasons on the staff of the Southern Illinois Miners before his time in Joliet.
“I’ve gotten to know (the T-Bolts) over the years and they have a great group of guys,” Biga said. “They have a great core nucleus of pitching and strong hitters and there are fantastic people in the front office.
“I had offers from about five other clubs but I chose Windy City because it’s close to home, there’s a great atmosphere in the ballpark and there are great people to work with.”