Fighters to hire High School manager

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters made the rare move Tuesday of offering a coaching job to a current high school manager, it was learned Wednesday.
Eijiro Ai, the manager of Kawagoe Higashi High School in Saitama Prefecture, has been offered the position of bench coach by the Fighters.
If he accepts as expected, it would mark the first time that a former pro player who returned to amateur status, in turn returned to the professional ranks.
The 48-year-old Ai was a teammate of Fighters' manager Hideki Kuriyama on the Yakult Swallows for seven years from 1984.
A star pitcher in high school, Ai compiled a 17-17 record with four saves with Yakult and the Lotte Marines. After retiring in 1992, he studied to fulfill the requirements for a teaching license.
In 1997, he was hired by Ibaraki's Tsukuba Shuei High School and, two years later, received his amateur coaching certification and became the team's manager. He moved to Kawagoe Higashi in 2005 and has been there since.

(Nov. 22, 2012)