The Bellingham Bells announced the hiring of Jeff James as their new head coach on Monday, Nov. 11. James will be the third member of the Bells coaching staff, along with Dane Siegfried, the assistant coach, and Jim Clem, the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
"Jeff James is an outstanding coach, who is a hard worker, and a great role model," Clem said.
James, from Seattle, played high school baseball at Newport High School in Bellevue. He played at the collegiate level at California Baptist University before transferring to Bellevue Community College, where he was a co-captain and earned a Gold Glove award. He then finished his senior season at the University of Washington.
"Early on I felt (the Bells') passion to give collegiate athletes and the community of Bellingham an amazing summer experience," James said.
James is currently a volunteer assistant coach at Seattle University, where he coaches outfielders, scouting and offensive development. Previously, he served as the director of baseball operations for Seattle University, and coached at Everett Community College and the University of Washington.
Though this will be his first season with the Bells, James brings familiarity with the West Coast League to Bellingham. He served as an assistant coach for the Kelowna Falcons in 2010, when they were the second-best hitting team in the WCL.
"We are thrilled to have Jeff as our head coach for the 2014 season," Bells general manager Nick Caples said. "There were two things that were very apparent from the first time we met him. First, he is a natural teacher and has a deeply seated passion for coaching and mentoring. Second, and most importantly, he conducts himself with the absolute highest level of integrity and holds some core values which are incredibly important to us. He will be a wonderful addition to our team and the community."