LOS ANGELES – Billy Eppler, a former UConn baseball player who most recently served the New York Yankees’ Assistant General Manager/Vice President, was named the 12th-ever General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as announced by the organization on Monday afternoon.
Eppler will oversee all aspect of the team’s baseball operations and report director to owner Arte Moreno, the Angels announced via a press release on Sunday night.
The San Diego, Calif. native appeared in four games for the Huskies out of the bullpen in 1997, firing 3.2 innings of relief before his collegiate career was cut short by injury. Connecticut put together a 27-20 record during the ’97 campaign, including 11 victories in Big East play. After graduating from UConn in 1998 with a degree in finance, he began a career in scouting with the Colorado Rockies from 2000-04 before joining the Yankees’ organization as Assistant Director of Baseball Operations in 2005.
After serving in numerous roles which included Director of Professional Scouting and Director of Player Personnel, Eppler was promoted to assistant GM for the start of the 2012. He held the role until the end of the 2014 campaign, when he was elevated to Assistant General Manager/Vice President.
“Billy was a good teammate, personable and intelligent,” said current Huskies head coach Jim Penders, who served an assistant coach during Eppler’s time in Storrs. “When he graduated in 1998, I didn’t know where he was headed professionally but I wasn’t surprised how quickly he gained a foothold in Major League Baseball. He has obviously impressed a lot of people in the business over the years.”
Eppler will inherit an Angels team that finished the 2015 season with an 85-77 overall record, missing the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.
On the field, a program-record five former Huskies earned playing time in the 2015 MLB season. Former centerfield George Springer helped the Houston Astros earn a berth into the postseason as the second American League Wildcard winner. Springer and the Astros will challenge the Yankees in a one-game playoff on Tuesday night in Bronx, N.Y.