Under new ownership, Porcupines staff starting to take shape

PINEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA - After officially acquiring the team last month, the Pineville Porcupines’ new ownership has been busy securing their staff for the 2024 season. Summer is quickly approaching, and the new General Manager, Marc Warner, and Head Coach, Gavin Birkhimer, are preparing to make this the best season yet. 

Marc Warner expressed his excitement about the opportunity. “I am a third generation baseball enthusiast with an unwavering passion for the game. I've often said that there is a kindred spirit amongst us baseball purists - a spirit that is woven into the fabric of our souls. As a child, my father instilled in me the love of the game and all I want to do is pass it forward to the next generation.”

Marc, originally from Pennsylvania, currently resides in Charlotte. He played college baseball at Slippery Rock University, and he comes from a baseball family. Marc will be heavily involved in the community, and has a primary focus on improving the fan experience in Pineville.

The Porcupines will be led by Coach Gavin Birkhimer, an assistant coach at Averett University. Coach Birkhimer, a Pineville native, actually played with the franchise when it was previously known as the Mocksville Muscadines, before the team moved to Jack D. Hughes Stadium in Pineville. He then helped coach in Pineville as an assistant. Gavin is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and he is currently pursuing his MBA at Averett. He will also be helping with general manager responsibilities as an Assistant General Manager. 

Coach Birkhimer is eager to field a successful team this year as he has a unique perspective on the team that he can use in recruiting. “I am thrilled to embark on this exciting journey as the Head Coach and Assistant General Manager for the Pineville Porcupines during the upcoming 2024 season. Having been both a player for the Mocksville Muscadine ONSL in 2021 and an assistant coach for the Pineville Porcupines in 2023, I've witnessed the remarkable growth of the league firsthand and feel incredibly blessed to contribute to its success. Representing my hometown of Pineville, North Carolina, is a lifelong dream realized.”

Marc’s wife, Kristen Warner, has also taken a role with the team, though a bit more unconventional. She will be working as the Autism Awareness Program Manager. This role is aligned with the vision and passion of one of the Porcupines owners, Rick Bailey. It is a mission that is close to Kristen’s heart as well. Kristen has experience working with autistic children and children with other special needs in both her previous career as an attorney and her former role in the Fort Mill School District. 

Kristen has big plans for this season to bring awareness to autism. “My goal is to help raise community awareness about autism while also educating and fostering genuine acceptance for individuals on the spectrum.  This season, we are excited to introduce special features on our social media platforms, spotlighting individuals with autism. Through these posts we aim to provide valuable educational content that dispels misconceptions about autism and fosters a deeper understanding and acceptance within our community. Furthermore, we will be hosting several home games dedicated to autism awareness. Through collaborative efforts with businesses and services, we aim to champion education and amplify awareness about the available resources for individuals on the spectrum and their families.”

If you would like to catch a Porcupines game this summer, their schedule can be found here. All home games will be played at Jack D. Hughes Stadium located at 513 South Main Street in Pineville, North Carolina.