Margot Douillet is busy enough as the director of operations and bullpen coach for the Pittsfield Suns of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, but earlier this month she also found time to make history.
Douillet served as manager for the team in its away game at Centennial Field against the Vermont Lake Monsters on June 8, making her the first woman to ever do so in the league.
Being given the chance to manage the squad “was a dream come true” for Douillet.
“I reached out to a lot of the past players and asked if they had any advice for me,” Douillet said in a video interview. “They pretty much all said the same thing. They said, ‘Don’t worry about the score. Just go out there, soak it all in and have fun.’ It was a surreal experience, especially coaching third base. Being out on the field with all the action going on and looking up into the stands, I had to pinch myself.
“I was very fortunate when I started out as an intern that our general manager, Kristen (Huss), the only female general manager in the league, was and continues to be an incredible mentor for me.”
Douillet hopes this sets precedent for female staff members in the Futures League and beyond, hoping “the number of opportunities increases.”
“Hopefully, fans and those within organizations are starting to see that there are a lot of qualified females out there,” Douillet said. “They just have to take a chance.”
The Massachusetts native attended the University of Michigan for her undergrad and finished with a bachelor’s degree in statistics. She always had an interest in baseball analytics and “runs lineup simulations and makes shift charts for the team,” according to an article on the Future League’s official website.
“What was really fascinating to me was the fact that you could read just a few numbers and they would tell a whole story about a player. That just changed the way I looked at sports,” Douillet said. “As I started working in baseball, I’ve become a lot more interested in looking at the personality side of a player and their mental game as well as the statistics side. It’s been interesting to get the full picture.”
Her experience with the Suns has been nothing but amazing, she said. They made it to the league championship last year but came up just short.
“It’s just been incredible. When I started as an intern, I was 16 and didn’t even have my driver’s license yet. It’s seen me through a very formative part of my life,” said Douillet, who plans to pursue her master’s in sport management at UMass starting this fall. “Every year, I feel like I’m always inspired by the players between what they’re able to do, the grit and determination they have and their love of the game.”
This was such a historic moment for not only Douillet herself but for women aspiring to get into sports management. She is an inspiration for so many, and this is a step in the right direction.