Monagle 'shocked' by Knutson firing

Collin Monagle primarily was used as an outfielder and designated hitter after offseason surgery on his pitching shoulder. - File photo
Collin Monagle primarily was used as an outfielder and designated hitter after offseason surgery on his pitching shoulder.
— image credit: File photo

South Kitsap High School graduate Collin Monagle still expects to enroll at the University of Washington, but wasn’t happy to hear that baseball coach Ken Knutson was fired Monday after 17 seasons.

Monagle learned about the news while returning from practice with his Seattle summer team, Chaffey Baseball, from his mother.

“I’m pretty shocked by it,” said Monagle, who pitched sparingly for the Wolves during the spring after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder during the offseason. “I don’t think anyone saw it coming.”

Despite his arm problems, Monagle was a highly touted prospect. Baseball Northwest ranked him as the third-best prospect in Washington state for the 2009 class. In addition to UW, Monagle said he also held offers from Arizona, California, Oregon State, Pepperdine and Washington State.

“He’s a great guy and was the reason why I chose the University of Washington,” Monagle said.

He said he’s been in contact with UW assistants and doesn’t plan to ask athletic director Scott Woodward to be released from his letter of intent. But Monagle said that will be contingent on the new coach and the school not making “any changes I don’t like.”

UW finished the season with a 25-30 overall record and 13-14 in the Pac-10. The Huskies ended the season on a five-game losing streak, including a three-game sweep at rival WSU to close the year.

Knutson, a 1981 UW graduate, spent the last 27 years at UW as a player and coach. He replaced Port Orchard resident Bob MacDonald in 1993 and compiled a 584-399-2 overall record and 240-189 mark against the Pac-10. Knutson won two conference championships and led the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times.

He had 76 players selected in the major-league draft, including reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.

“I’m proud of everything the UW baseball program has accomplished during my years here,” Knutson said in a release issued by the university. “I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and having the opportunity to place my professional focus on growing my private business.”

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