Legendary area coach and former Bells pitching coach Jim Clem has been named the Bellingham Bells manager for the 2023 season, the team announced today.
Clem spent 11 seasons with the Bells, serving as the team’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator from 2011 – 2021 before stepping away to take the 2022 season off to spend more time with family.
“We are so happy that the stars aligned for Coach Clem to return to the Bells as our head coach,” Bells general manager Stephanie Morrell said. “Jim has been a huge part of the Bells’ success for many years and a beloved and valued member of our Bells family. He’s worked hard to build our program to where it is today, working hand in hand with the front office, ownership and coaching staff.”
During his tenure with the Bells, Clem’s pitching staffs were consistently among the league’s best. Two pitchers who were part of Clem’s staffs, Seth Martinez (2014) and Eric Chavarria (2021) were named West Coast League Pitcher of the Year. The Bells qualified for the post-season six of the 11 seasons Coach Clem was part of the Bells and won the WCL title in 2014.
“It’s an honor to be back in uniform with the Bells and I thank them for the opportunity,” Clem said. “Once you’ve been in the organization, you realize that it’s the people that make it such a special place. From the top on down, everyone works so hard to provide a great experience for the players and the fans. It’s fun to be part of that! I look forward to doing all that I can to help the front office, the coaches, and the players, reach the goals that they have in mind.”
Clem has been long known in the area as a legendary coach, having had success at various levels of the game and a long, successful tenure as the head coach at Burlington-Edison High School. He has been named to multiple hall-of-fames, including the WIAA Coaches Hall of Fame, the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and the Central Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame.
“For me, it’s about mentoring, teaching, and helping others to realize their true and limitless potential,” Clem said. “To help everyone see that together we all achieve more. That’s when it really becomes fun! l look at things from a perspective that I’m here to guide the process that will help us all to be the best versions of ourselves. Work hard, compete hard, have a great attitude, and always be a great teammate. A positive thinker believes anything is possible!”
As manager, Clem will oversee the team’s day to day operations and oversee the coaching staff. He will also continue to help recruit the Bells roster as he had done for the eleven seasons prior.
“I love the game and sharing it with others! I enjoy the challenges it provides and how it tests you on a daily basis,” Clem said. “I can’t wait to get started! Go Bells!”