PITTSFIELD -- A former University of Massachusetts baseball player is the new manager of the Pittsfield Suns.
Tom Conley, a four-year starter at catcher for UMass, has been hired to manage the Futures League baseball team this summer. Conley replaces Jamie Keefe who stepped down after last season.
Conley, 22, is in the middle of his first season as an assistant coach at Division I Bryant University in Rhode Island.
To say this first year after he graduated with a Sociology degree has been a baseball whirlwind is an understatement.
"I didn't even get to go to my graduation. We were away," he said during an interview prior to a press conference Thursday announcing the hiring. "I feel like my season just ended. Then all of a sudden, I'm with Bryant and now I'm with Pittsfield. It's kind of a whirlwind, but it's exciting."
Conley joined Suns owners Jeff Goldklang and Tyler Tumminia, general manager Kevin McGuire and Futures League Commissioner Chris Hall at the press event, held in the main lobby of the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank on South Street.
In addition to his four years at UMass, the Quincy native played three summers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
"We started this process from, essentially, scratch. Every person Tyler spoke to, one name kept coming back to us and that was you really need to talk to this guy Tom Conley," said Goldklang. "He's got a future in this sport.
"We did our due diligence on everybody. At the end of the day, it wasn't even a question. Tom was the correct choice."