The Washington Nationals formally announced the hiring of Matt Williams as the team’s new manager via press release Thursday morning.
Williams, 47, becomes the fifth manager of the team since relocating to the District in 2005.
“I could not be more pleased to welcome Matt Williams and his family to the Nationals and the Nation’s Capital,” Rizzo said in the press release. “In some ways, my interview with Matt began during our days together in Arizona, where his undeniable toughness, attention to detail and intensity established a foundation for a Diamondbacks expansion franchise that reached the postseason in its second season and won a World Series two years later.”
Via conference call with media, Rizzo added, “It was a very difficult decision. But Matt, we felt, possessed all the characteristics of a successful manager and a guy we think can take us to the next level.”
Williams was known as an intense player, nicknamed “The Big Marine”, but he’s earned a reputation as a coach that’s tough but fair and is well respected among his former teammates and players on teams that he’s coached. Williams brings no full-time managerial experience to the job, but had a short stint managing Arizona’s Double-A team after former teammate Brett Butler suffered a stroke. He also skippered an Arizona Fall League team in 2012.
“I feel privileged and honored to be a part of this team,” Williams said in the press release. “It’s a wonderful group of guys and a great organization. I’m simply here to help take us to the next level.”
Williams is to be introduced in a press conference Friday at 2:00 pm ET at Nationals Park.