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Friday the Rapid City Post 320 board of directors announced who will be the new head man of the Stars' program.

Brian Humphries was named the coach of the Post 320 varsity team after serving as coach of the junior varsity team, the Shooters, last season.

Humphries was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 19th round after high school. He chose to attend Pepperdine and was drafted after three seasons by the Colorado Rockies in the 14th round.

"The things we liked about Coach Humphries is that he has an extensive background and knowledge of the game of baseball," Post 320 board president B.J. George said. "He’s played at all levels, all high levels, from high school, college and even professional. He’s been around the game and played at a high level which kids in our program, and most programs, aspire to get to."

Humphries said it is an honor to be named the head coach of the varsity team.

"I think for me its just one more step closer to what I want to do," he said. "I want to be able to help every player possible and to get them as far into their career as they can, get the most out of each player."

He replaces Rich Downs, the longtime assistant under Dave Ploof at Rapid City Post 22, who was the head coach for one season at Post 320 before resigning in November.

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Humphries was brought on last season and led the Shooters to a 25-15 record and a Junior Legion state tournament appearance. 

He said being familiar with the program will help him build on the relationships with current players. He will also have some familiar faces as he coached some players that will make the jump from the Shooters to the Stars.

"One thing that helps is being in the program, I do lessons and clinics with Little League players and players in the program as well," he said. "It helps knowing what each player is capable of, what each player’s strengths and weaknesses are. I’ll have a good idea coming into the season what needs to be done to get the best out of each individual player possible."

George said being familiar with the players and coaches in the program will be an asset to Humphries, as will the four years he spent in the Rockies organization. The board also liked the work he did with coaching hitters in the program.

Post 320 received applications from the east side of the state and locally, according to George. He said the board liked all of the applicants and he was happy about the interest the position received.

He and Humphries also said his experience with college and professional coaches can help the players who want to play at the next level gain exposure.

"(We want to) build our program to where we are able to compete for a state championship and the development of kids and the connections he has through the college and pro ranks to hopefully get our kids seen on a bigger stage to help them move to the next level if that’s what they chose to do," George said. "He’s very good with the kids and we hope to get kids to our program to develop them and show them that that’s potential to move to the next level if that’s what they chose to do."

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Contact Geoff Preston at geoffrey.preston@rapidcityjournal.com

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