Scott Servais' dream of managing a big league club has officially come true.
The Coon Valley native was introduced as the next manager of the Seattle Mariners on Monday after reports of his hiring last week.
"This is a huge day for me, me and my family," Servais said at his introductory press conference. "As you get to know me, pretty down to earth guy. It all starts for me - I grew up in a town of 500 people, Coon Valley, Wisconsin. Not many people ever gave me a shot to ever play in the big leagues let alone manage in the big leagues. This is truly incredible."
The 48-year-old Servais replaces Lloyd McClendon, who was fired earlier this month after Seattle went 76-86. Servais has worked the past five seasons as an assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Angels and worked alongside Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto for most of that time. Dipoto resigned as Angels GM on July 1.
Servais oversaw the Angels' scouting and player development, and had wanted to be on a major league coaching staff. He joined Dipoto and the Angels in 2011 after spending six seasons as the senior director of player development with Texas. Servais was credited with the growth of slugger Nelson Cruz during the time together with the Rangers - Cruz now plays for Seattle.
The hire continues a recent trend of managers hired without any prior on-field experience. Servais believes his personality will overcome that challenge and make him a fit in Seattle.
"I think through my 28 years of pro ball as a player, coach, scout, front office exec., I've learned how to develop players, but more importantly, I think I've learned how to connect with them," Servais said.
"Being a manager is about leading people, about creating a collective consciousness within a group," Dipoto said. "It's about connecting with those individuals and managing them day-to-day. [Servais] has managed people. He has managed players. He has managed situations."
The Westby High School graduate spent time with Houston, the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco during his playing career. He hit .245 with 63 home runs and 319 RBIs in 820 career games. Servais served as a catching instructor for the Cubs for two seasons after retiring and was a scout in Colorado before joining the Rangers front office in 2005.
The hiring makes Servais the 10th full-time and interim manager for the Mariners since the club's last playoff appearance in 2001.
Servais was selected by Dipoto from a group of six candidates that included Phil Nevin, Dave Roberts, Charlie Montoyo, Jason Varitek and Tim Bogar, who will be on Servais' staff as Seattle's bench coach.
During the press conference, Servais announced Mel Stottlemyer Jr. will serve as pitching coach, Edgar Martinez will remain the team's hitting coach, and Chris Woodward will serve as first-base coach.
The Associated Press contributed to this report