Kevin Hooper is in his fourth year as field manager of the Wingnuts. Last season, Hooper led Wichita to the Central Division crown and their second playoff appearance in the past three years. In 2009, he led Wichita to a league-best 58-38 record and the first half North Division title.
Hooper had a 10-year playing career that included time in the Major Leagues, four in AAA and one as a member of the Wingnuts. In 2008, he won the American Association batting title by 40 points, hitting .373. Hooper went 34 for 35 in stolen bases, and was never actually thrown out by an opposing catcher on a steal attempt. On May 28th vs. Sioux Falls, Hooper collected his 1,000th career hit with an infield single.
Hooper, 36, had a stellar four-year career with the Wichita State Shockers from 1996-1999, leaving the program with a lifetime .358 batting average.
Originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 49th round in 1998, Hooper remained at Wichita State for his senior season and was then drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 8th round in 1999. In 2005 while with Toledo, Hooper had the distinction of playing one inning at every position on the final day of the season, including earning the save on the mound with a perfect ninth inning.
Hooper made his big league debut with the Detroit Tigers on July 9, 2005 versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He earned his first career Major League hit on July 21st with a single off of Minnesota Twins' veteran pitcher Terry Mulholland. Hooper earned another callup with the Tigers in 2006.