Bales in action as a Menace player / Photo courtesy Des Moines Menace
Last week, one of League Two’s most historic clubs made a big update to its front office when the Des Moines Menace announced Lyle Hunt and Charlie Bales will become co-general managers of the team ahead of its 28th year of existence.
Bales played as a defender for the Menace from 2011 to 2015, helping the club to back-to-back Heartland Division titles in 2014 and 2015. He rejoined the Menace organization in an account executive role in 2018, and will now serve as one of the club’s leaders for the 2021 season and beyond.
“Leading a club that I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to play for gives me a great sense of pride,” said Bales. “The five summers I played in Des Moines provided me with lifelong friendships and memories that I look forward to affording future Menace players.
Hunt got his start with the Menace as an intern and has since risen through the ranks / Photo courtesy Des Moines Menace
“Both Lyle and myself remember attending Menace games as kids. The roster changes year after year but the sense of family that stems from [owner] Kyle Krause, the front office and Menace supporters has never wavered.”
While Hunt never suited up for the Menace, he’s been a staff member long enough to know the club inside out. He got his start in Des Moines back in 2013 as an intern, and made his way back as a full-time employee in 2015. He was promoted to the director of operations role in 2018, and will parlay his years of experience in League Two into guiding the Menace forward.
“It’s an honor to lead a club in my home state that I have grown with over the last five-and-a-half years,” said Hunt. “This development pathway is another testament to why this club is so special.
"Similar success stories are a constant for players, coaches and staff. Our previous experiences with the club will serve as a great starting point as we strive for business and sporting excellence in 2021."
Both men are Iowa natives, and their knowledge of not only League Two but of the Iowa soccer landscape should ensure a smooth transition as the Menace will look to defend the League Two regular season and Heartland Division titles the club won in 2019.
“Aside from the obvious goals of extending our undefeated regular season streak and adding another star to the Menace crest, we want to create a professional environment that serves as a platform for our players, coaches and interns to excel at the next level,” said Bales. “Both of us are actively assisting with the USL Pro Iowa movement on top of our day-to-day managerial duties, and we aim to use the club as a catalyst for the continued growth of Iowa soccer.”