The Northern Colorado Owlz announced today that they have hired Frank Gonzales as their new manager for the 2023 season.

Gonzales joins the Owlz after eight seasons in the Colorado Rockies organization. He most recently served as pitching coach for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.

“Having a local legend like Coach Gonzales on board can bring Owlz baseball back to the dynasty that it was,” Majority Owner Jeff Katofsky said. “Not only that, but to have him coaching and training children of all ages in our youth programs and tournaments will continue to raise the bar at Future Legends.”

This season will be Gonzales’ fourth as a manager and his third as a manager in the Pioneer League. He skippered the Grand Junction Rockies from 2016-17 and the Boise Hawks, then of the Northwest League, in 2015.

The La Junta native graduated from Colorado State in 1989. That same year, the Detroit Tigers drafted him in the 16th round. He pitched in the Tigers organization for the next seven seasons, climbing as high as Triple-A.

After spending the 1996 season in China, Gonzales pitched one final minor league season in 1997. He finished his affiliated career with a 52-41 record, a 3.91 ERA, and 586 strikeouts.

Gonzales’ first foray into coaching came at his alma mater. He led the Rams club baseball team from 1999 to 2005, winning national titles in each of his final two seasons.

In 2009, he started his tenure as head coach at Fort Collins High School, which lasted until 2012. He took his first job in the Rockies organization two years later.

Northern Colorado gave Gonzales a start. It’s where he began his high-level playing career, and where he first served as a skipper.

Now, at the start of his managerial second act, he doesn’t foresee the support wavering for a second.

“Knowing the baseball and the community of baseball in Northern Colorado was very inviting,” Gonzales said. “I’m excited about the community opportunity.”