Jeff Bittiger is the player personnel consultant for the F-M RedHawks and has been with the team either as a player, coach or consultant since 1996. A native of Jersey City, NJ, Jeff was drafted in the 7th round by the New York Mets in the 1980 MLB Draft. Originall drafted as a third baseman, Bittiger was converted to a full-time pitcher in 1981 and was in the Mets farm system until New York traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1986. he started 3 games for the Phillies and hit a homerun in his first at bat. In April of 1987, Bittiger was signed by the Minnesota Twins at first as a starting pitcher and later as a middle reliever. After winning the 1987 World Series with the Twins, Jeff was signed by the Chicago White Sox the following year and played in the White Sox organization until being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1989.
From 1990 to 1993, Bittiger played in the minor leagues for the Dodgers, Indians, Royals and Athletics. In 1993, he joined the Rochester Aces, an independent team in the Northern League and manager Doug Simunic. Bittiger would play 2 seasons in the Northern League before signing with Oakland and playing for the Edmonton Trappers in the Pacific Coast League. In 1995, Jeff returned to the Northern League and signed with the Winnipeg Goldeyes and former skipper Doug Simunic, where Jeff went 8-5 in 20 games and helping the Goldeyes win their first league championship.
In 1996, Bittiger would join Simunic and the expansion F-M RedHawks franchise. As a pitcher with Fargo-Moorhead, Bittiger fashioned a 36-12 record with a 3.46 ERA in 77 starts (393.1 innings) from 1996-2002. His best season came in 1998, when he tied a league record for victories with a 12-1 record and a 1.94 ERA in 16 starts and led the RedHawks to the championship. That year he was selected as the Northern League’s “Star of Stars” (by Howe Sportsdata), was named to pitch in the Northern League All-Star game as tabbed to the Northern League Post-Season All-Star team. In 2000, Bittiger was named Baseball America’s Independent Player of the Decade for the 1990’s.During his RedHawks career, Bittiger would go on to set many team and league records and currently holds the team record for lowest career ERA at 3.46. Along with pitching for the RedHawks, Bittiger was also the team’s pitching coach and did both until his retirement in 2002. He would stay on a as the club’s pitching coach in 2003 and became a team consultant in 2004.
Bittinger stepped aside as the RedHawks pitching coach and become a scout for the Oakland Athletics in 2004.
Chris Coste played third base and pitcher for Concordia from 1993 to 1995. He earned three consecutive All-American awards and still holds the school record for career batting average and career earned run average. Coste helped the Cobbers win the MIAC championship in 1995 and was inducted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
He started his professional career in 1995 playing for Brainerd, Minnesota in the North Central League and the Brandon Grey Owls in the independent Prairie League. From 1996 to 1999, he played four seasons for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the independent Northern League, winning the league championship in 1998.
In 1999, Coste was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates but was released after spring training and returned to the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. In 2000, Coste signed with the Cleveland Indians organization, having gotten significant playing with their Triple-A affiliate. He spent 2003 with the Boston Red Sox organization and 2004 in the Milwaukee Brewers system. Coste first signed with the Phillies in 2005, spending the entire season with their Triple-A affiliate. He remained in the minors until his promotion to the Phillies, facilitated by his fantastic performance in 2006 spring training. After starting the 2007 season in Triple-A, Coste was called back up to the majors on May 12, 2007.
Coste won a World Series championship with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and became the first player from the MIAC (Division III) to win a World Series. He played in the major leagues for the Phillies, Houston Astros, New York Mets and Washington Nationals organizations. Coste appeared in 299 Major League Baseball games and had a career MLB average of .272.
He has written two books about his experiences in professional baseball: “Hey… I’m Just the Catcher: An Inside Look at a Northern League Season From Behind the Plate,” published in 1997 and “The 33-Year-Old Rookie: How I Finally Made it to the Big Leagues After Eleven Years in the Minors.” The book, which chronicles Coste’s first season in the majors, contains a foreword by John Kruk.
Following his retirement as a player, Coste was an in-studio analyst on Comcast SportsNet and appeared on Phillies Pregame Live and Postgame Live shows.
In 2014, Coste was named the head coach of the Cobber baseball program after serving as the team’s assistant coach for three seasons.
Coste was named interim manager of the RedHawks for the 2020 season.
Anthony Renz is in his second season on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks staff.
A 2015 magna cum laude graduate of Mansfield University, Renz earned his bachelor of science in electronic media while achieving minors in public relations and business. He is currently seeking a master of science in communications studies at Shippensburg University.
Renz was a three-year baseball captain with the Mountaineers. On the diamond, Renz was a .304 hitter, totaling 19 home runs and 101 RBIs over a four-year career. As a senior, Renz was an All-PSAC Eastern Division First Team and All-Region performer who hit .357 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs while ranking ninth in the conference with 14 doubles.
Following his graduation in 2015, Renz signed a professional contract with the Las Vegas Train Robbers of the Pecos League. He later moved to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the American Association for two months before settling in with the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League.
Renz is a native of Danville, PA.
Lopez originally joined the RedHawks in 2001 as a bullpen catcher and worked for the club through the 2010 season. Lopez worked home games for the RedHawks during the 2013 season before going back to full-time duty in 2014. He has also served as the RedHawks emergency catcher and appeared in three games in his long tenure with the club.
He was a college coach for the MSU-Moorhead Dragons club baseball team from 2004-2007 before leaving to become an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Dakota State (SD) University from 2007-2009. After relocating to California, Lopez coached with the NorCal Grizzlies travel baseball program in the Oakland area, and also coached at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley, CA in 2011.
Lopez grew up in West Fargo, ND and played Legion baseball for the West Fargo Aces and West Fargo Patriots. He played college baseball at Dickinson (ND) State University and the University of South Dakota and also attended Mayville (ND) State University. He was a two-time NDCAC All-Conference honorable mention selection at DSU as a freshman and sophomore.
Kevin McGovern returns to the RedHawks for his 10th season of professional baseball and second with the RedHawks. He called Newman Outdoor Field home for the entire 2020 season, but split time between the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Fargo-Moorhead after the RedHawks claimed him off waivers on Aug. 21, 2020 — he also missed a chunk of August after being placed on the injured list. McGovern made four appearances (3 starts) for the RedHawks over the final weeks of the 2020 season, going 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 15.0 innings pitched. Combined, McGovern went 2-2 with a 5.23 ERA in 11 games (8 starts) with 37 strikeouts and 14 walks in 41.1 innings pitched.
A Winnipeg Goldeyes legend, McGovern spent parts of five seasons with the fish and was a part of the Goldeyes’ 2016 and 2017 American Association championship teams. McGovern is the Goldeyes’ all-time strikeout leader (479) and ranks third in wins (39). He is the only pitcher in Goldeyes’ history with three seasons of 100-plus strikeouts (2016-18). He was named a 2017 American Association All-Star. The Philadelphia, Pa. native ranks third on the American Association career wins list (48), second on the strikeouts list (677), second on the innings pitched list (762.0). He is one of only two pitchers in American Association history with four seasons of 100-plus strikeouts (2015-18), and one of only four pitchers in American Association history with three or more seasons of 100-plus strikeouts.
McGovern was named pitching coach in 2022