KODAK, Tenn. (SmokiesBaseball.com) – In a week that began with his 1,600th managerial win, Tennessee Smokies manager Bill Dancy can add one more achievement to his resume. Dancy was named Thursday afternoon by the Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs its Manager of the Year, as voted upon by the league’s field managers, radio broadcasters and print media. It is the first for the Smokies organization since John McLaren won the award in 1985 as manager of the Knoxville Blue Jays.
Dancy’s first year at the Smokies helm has been a very successful one. He led Tennessee to the Southern League North Division title in both the first and second half, a feat last accomplished by the Huntsville Stars in 2007. The Smokies’ 83-52 record leads the Southern League and Tennessee’s win total is already 12 games better than last year’s, with five games still to go.
Tennessee’s dominance this year is reflected in the fact the team leads the Southern League in 11 offensive categories, as well as pitching wins and saves. Even with a handful of promotions throughout the season, Dancy continued to get the most out of his players, both old and new.
Dancy’s impressive career win total has come at every level of the minors. After six years (1973-78) as an infielder in the Phillies’ minor league system, the Florida native began his managerial career in 1979 at Class A Spartanburg. He then managed at Peninsula (A, 1980-82), Reading (AA, 1983-84, 1988, 1994-95), Portland (A, 1985-86), Maine (A, 1987), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA, 1989-91) and Clearwater (A, 1992-93, 1998-99). Dancy left the Phillies organization for two years to coach the Class AAA Richmond Braves (1996-97). He led Peninsula, Clearwater and Reading to league championships in 1980, 1983 and 1995 respectively, and has a minor league managerial record of 1,518-1,414 (.518).
Dancy left the managerial ranks in 2000 to become an infield coordinator for the Phillies, and then served as the team’s field coordinator from 2001-2004. After two years as the Phillies’ third base coach (2005-06), he was team’s field coordinator in 2007 and 2008. He spent 2009 with the Kansas City Royals.
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