2013 51s Coaching Staff
BORN: 9/22/59 - Hillsboro, Oregon
51s SUMMARY: Wally Backman, on January 7, 2013, was named the 22nd manager in the history of the Las Vegas franchise (1983 - present, 30 seasons).
CAREER SUMMARY: He enters his second season as manager on the Triple-A level and his fourth season with the Mets organization since his playing days. His career minor league managerial record in 10 seasons is 601-564 (.516). He led the Lancaster Jethawks (Single-A) of the California League to a 86-54 record during the 2004 campaign and was named Minor League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News.
MINOR LEAGUE COACHING CAREER: Compiled a 601-564 (.516) record in 10 seasons as a minor league manager in the Chicago White Sox, Arizona and New York Mets organizations from 2001-04 & 2010-12 and three seasons in the Independent League (2007-09). Last season, he guided Triple-A Buffalo of the International League to a 67-76 (.469) record in his inaugural season. In 2011, he led Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League to a 65-76 (.461) mark and, in 2010, managed Single-A Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League to a 51-24 record (.680) and the Cyclones captured the McNamara Division title. He managed the Joliet JackHammers of the Independent Northern League for two seasons (2008 & 2009). He returned to baseball in 2007 as skipper of the South Georgia Peanuts of the Independent South Coast League and led the team to the league title and was featured on a TV documentary called "Playing for Peanuts." Backman was named the Arizona Diamondbacks manager on November 1, 2004 but was relieved of his duties on November 5, 2004. He led the Lancaster Jethawks (Single-A) of the California League to a 86-54 record during the 2004 campaign and was named Minor League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News. He began his managerial career in 2001 with the Chicago White Sox organization at the helm of Single-A Winston-Salem of the Carolina League. He spent two seasons with Double-A Birmingham (2002-03) of the Southern League and led the team to the 2002 League Championship.
PLAYING CAREER: He played 14 seasons in the Major Leagues as an infielder (2B, SS, 3B) with the New York Mets (1980-88), Minnesota (1989), Pittsburgh (1990), Philadelphia (1991-92) and Seattle (1993). He appeared in 1,102 games and batted .275 (893-for-3,245) with 138 doubles, 19 triples, 10 home runs, 240 RBI and 117 stolen bases in 169 attempts. He was a member of the 1986 Mets World Series championship team and hit a career-high .320 (124-for-387) during the season. He recorded back-to-back seasons of 30 stolen bases or more in 1984 & 1985 (32 stolen bases in 41 attempts & 30 SB's in 42 attempts). In 1990, as a member of Pittsburgh, he collected six hits in a game on April 27 vs. San Diego. He was selected by the Mets in the first round (16th overall pick) of the 1977 Major League Baseball Draft out of Aloha High School in Hillsboro, Oregon.
PERSONAL: Walter Wayne Backman. He graduated from Aloha High School in Hillsboro, Oregon. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. Wally, 53, and his wife, Sandi, reside in Pineville, Oregon.
GEORGE GREER - HITTING COACH
BORN: 10/18/46 - Westerly, Rhode Island
CAREER SUMMARY: Greer will enter his eighth season overall in the Mets organization, his second season as the hitting instructor for the Mets Triple-A affiliate (2012 with Triple-A Buffalo) and his first season with the 51s. He previously served as the hitting instructor for Single-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League for three seasons (2009-11). He also served in the same capacity with Rookie-level Kingsport of the Appalachian League in 2007 and Single-A Savannah of the South Atlantic League in 2008. He joined the Mets organization in 2006 as the manager of the Single-A Brookyln Cyclones of the New York-Penn League.
COLLEGE COACHING CAREER: He compiled a 714-504-8 record (.582) in 23 seasons as an NCAA Division I Head Coach. Greer spent 17 seasons (1988-2004) as the Head Baseball Coach for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons of the Atlantic Coast Conference and compiled a career record of 608-382-4 (.612) which earned him the winningest coach in school history. He produced 29 All-Americans during his tenure at Wake Forest. He also was the Head Baseball Coach at Davidson College for six years (1981-87) and compiled three straight 20-win seasons, including a then-record 25 wins in his final year.
PROFESSIONAL PLAYING CAREER: He was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 17th round of the 1968 draft. He played in the Cardinals minor league system with St. Petersburg, Modesto, Arkansas and Triple-A Tulsa. In 1970, with Modesto, he batted .304 with 21 home runs and 96 RBI.
PERSONAL: George Edward Greer was raised in Westerly, RI, and was a two-time All-American for the University of Connecticut (1967 & 1968).
RANDY ST. CLAIRE - PITCHING COACH
BORN: 8/23/60 - Glens Falls, New York
CAREER SUMMARY: St. Claire enters his first season as the pitching coach at Triple-A Las Vegas and also enters his inaugural season with the Mets organization.
He spent three seasons as the pitching coach for the Florida/Miami Marlins (2010-2012) and joined the Marlins after six-plus seasons as pitching coach for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. St. Claire began his coaching career in 1996 with the Milwaukee Brewers' Single-A team of the California League. He also spent the 1998 season as the Pitching Coach for Montreal's Single-A team, Cape Fear. He was a coach in the Expos organization for five years before agreeing to be Toronto's Triple-A Pitching Coach in 2003 and later became Montreal's Major League Pitching Coach.
MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYING CAREER: He played parts of nine seasons in the Major Leagues with Montreal (1984-88), Cincinnati (1988), Minnesota (1989), Atlanta (1991-92) and Toronto (1994). The right-hander posted a 12-6 career record with a 4.14 ERA in 162 relief outings and allowed 252 hits and struck out 160 batters in 252.0 innings pitched. He compiled a 70-84 record in 623 career minor league games, including 48 starts, eight complete games, two shutouts and 142 saves.
St. Claire signed as a free agent with Montreal on September 9, 1978 and made his Major League debut with the Expos on September 11, 1984 vs. Pittsburgh. He earned his first big league victory on June 3, 1986 vs. San Francisco. He pitched one inning in Game #5 of the 1991 World Series with Atlanta against Minnesota. He was traded to Cincinnati (from Montreal) with catcher Jeff Reed and outfielder Herm Winningham in exchange for outfielder Tracy Jones and right-handed pitcher Pat Pacillo on July 13, 1998.
PERSONAL: Randy Anthony St. Claire. His father, the late Ebba St. Claire, was a catcher with the New York Giants from 1951-54.
JOE GOLIA - ATHLETIC TRAINER
Joe enters his ninth season in the New York Mets organization and his third season with the Mets Triple-A affiliate (Buffalo, International League, 2011-12).
He spent the previous five seasons (2006-10) with Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League and began his time with the Mets with Single-A Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League (2005).
He also served as head athletic trainer for the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League in 2009 and the Peoria Saguaros in 2008. He served as athletic trainer for the College of Charleston from 2002-05 and athletic trainer for Villanova University baseball team from 2000-02.
In 2002, Golia was a minor league trainer in the Boston Red Sox organization with the Double-A Trenton Thunder.
He graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College, majoring in Sports Medicine before going on to earning his M.E.D. in Exercise Science & Physical Education from Citadel.
RONALD KENYATTA - STRENGTH COACH
Kenyatta has been in the Mets organization as Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coordinator and Triple-A Strength Coach for 11 seasons (2002-12).
He is certified as a Strength and Conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Level One United States weightlifting club coach with US Weightlifting Association.
He served as the Strength and Conditioning Consultant for the baseball team at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1997-99 and interned in the Strength and Conditioning department at Georgia Tech from 1999-2000. He was a Strength and Conditioning intern with the Georgia State basketball team under legendary head coach Lefty Driesell in 2001.
Kenyatta graduated from Radford University (VA) with a B.S. in Physical Education and a minor in Psychology and received an M.S. in Exercise Science from Carolina University at Pennsylvania in 2003.