Hillman to leave Wyverns after the postseasonTrey Hillman, the American manager of the SK Wyverns, announced Saturday that he will not return to the team next year, citing family reasons.
Hillman, 55, said he wanted to take better care of his ailing stepmother, who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and also his 84-year-old father.
Hillman signed a two-year deal at $1.6 million with the Wyverns before the 2017 season. He is the second U.S.-born skipper in the KBO after Jerry Royster, who managed the Lotte Giants from 2008 to 2010.
Hillman has a varied coaching background. Prior to his arrival in Korea, he managed the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan from 2003 to 2007 as well as the Kansas City Royals from 2008 to 2010.
His diverse coaching experience worked for the Wyverns, guiding the team to a postseason finish for both of the last two seasons. In 2017, Hillman’s first year as manager, the Wyverns recorded 75 wins, 68 losses and one tie to finish fifth in the regular season and make it to the wildcard, where they lost to the NC Dinos.
Throughout his first season, Hillman got the most out of his batters’ slugging ability to lead the Wyverns to a .524 winning percentage. The Wyverns also topped the league in home runs, at 234.
This season, Hillman made another improvement to the team with the return of starting pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun, finishing second in the regular season with 78 wins, 65 losses and one tie.
The Wyverns once again topped the league in home runs, at 233. By finishing as the runner-up, the Wyverns automatically advanced to the second round of the postseason playoffs, which start on Oct. 27.
Although Hillman announced he will leave, he will continue managing the team until the Wyverns finish their postseason campaign.
BY KANG YOO-RIM, YONHAP [email@example.com]