Joe Mikulik - Manager
The 2015 season marks Joe Mikulik's first as manager of the RoughRiders. Mikulik helmed the Advanced-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a Carolina League-best 82-56 record in 2014. The Pelicans won their first round matchup in the playoffs before falling in the circuit's championship series. Mikulik joined the Rangers organization prior to the 2013 season and served as the roving minor league outfield instructor for one year before being named Myrtle Beach's manager for 2014.
Known for his passionate approach to managing, Mikulik will be entering his 17th season as a minor league skipper in 2015. Prior to joining the Rangers organization, he spent 13 seasons with the Colorado Rockies as a manager with the Single-A Asheville Tourists. Mikulik also managed the short-season Burlington Indians in 1997 and 1998. Through the 2014 season, he owns a career regular season managerial record of 1,061-957 (a .526 winning percentage) and has guided his teams to the playoffs five times, posting an 11-12 record in the postseason. Under Mikulik, Asheville won the South Atlantic League championship in 2012; he was the league's manager of the year four times (2000, 2002, 2007 and 2008) and was elected to the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame in 2010. He is the Tourists' and South Atlantic League's all-time leader in career victories as a manager (938).
A native of the Lone Star State, Mikulik was born in Weimer, Texas and currently lives in nearby Keller. After graduating from Bishop Forest High School in Schulenburg, Texas, he played for two seasons as San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas, where he was an All-American. Mikulik was Houston's ninth round selection in the 1984 June Draft and played for 12 years in the Astros organization, rising to Triple-A Tucson. He was a career .274 hitter with 78 home runs, 161 doubles, 48 triples 527 RBI and 135 steals in 1,053 games. Outside of stints in Mexico and Venezuela, he manned the outfield for Astros affiliates for the entirety of his professional playing career. He began his coaching career as a player/coach in the Cleveland organization for Double-A Canton-Akron in 1995. Mikulik's managerial career began as an interim skipper when he replaced then-Burlington manager and former Rangers special assistant Harry Spilman late in the 1997 season.
Jason Hart - Hitting Coach
Jason Hart continues on as as the RoughRiders' hitting coach for the fourth consecutive season and his seventh as a minor league instructor. From 2010-11, Hart was the hitting coach for Single-A Hickory and he spent 2009 in the same capacity for short-season Spokane.
Hart is no stranger to Dr Pepper Ballpark. He played first base for Frisco in 2005 and led the team with 28 doubles, 21 home runs, and 77 RBI. Hart made his only appearance in the Majors in 2002, playing in ten games for the Rangers.
In 2000, Hart played for the Midland RockHounds and led the team in exta-base hits, slugging percentage, RBI, and hits. During the season, he was named a Texas League Baseball America Double-A All-Star and a TL All-Star first baseman. Hart played for Southern Oregon in 1998, leading the squad in home runs and RBI en route to being named MVP of the Northwestern League.
Hart was selected by Oakland in the fifth round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft our of Missouri State University, where he was a three-year starter and an All-American. He still holds several career hitting records at Missouri State and in 2007 was named to the Missouri Valley Conference Baseball All-Centennial Team. Before becoming a Bear, Hart graduated from Fair Grove (MO) High School in 1996.
Jeff Andrews - Pitching Coach
Jeff Andrews is in his seventh season as Frisco's pitching coach and his 30th season as a minor league instructor. This is his second stint with the Rangers organization, as he began his coaching career with Texas in 1986.
Prior to returning to the Rangers, Andrews spent six years in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, joining the big league club's staff as its pitching coach in 2008. His current position marks Andrews' fifth coaching stop at the Double-A level with past experience with Altoona (Pittsburgh, 3 seasons, 2003-05), Portland (Florida, 1 season, 2001), Jacksonville (Seattle, three seasons, 1992-94), and Tulsa (Texas, three seasons, 1988-90).
A right-handed pitcher during his playing days, Andrews was originally selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 26th round of the 1981 draft. He pitched two years in the Cubs farm system, compiling a 10-6 record with Geneva (1981) and Salinas (1982). Andrews is a 1977 graduate of Rapid City, South Dakota Stevens High School, where he played football and basketball. He played American Legion baseball since his high school team did not have a baseball program. He was also a pitcher on the Ohio Valley Conference Championship team as a freshman at East Tennessee State University in 1978. he led that squad to a Southern Conference title and into NCAA Regional playoffs as a junior in 1980.
James Vilade - Double-A Coach/Scout
James Vilade is back on the Frisco coaching staff for the fourth straight season. He returned to the Texas Rangers organization in 2012 year after serving as a Florida Marlins scout in 2010 and 2011. While with the Rangers in 2007 and 2008, he served as a coach for the RoughRiders.
Prior to his time with the Rangers, Vilade spent 12 years as an NCAA baseball coach, serving as head coach for 11 of those seasons. While at the University of Dallas and The University of Texas-Tyler, Vilade compiled a career record of 348-117. His .748 career winning percentage makes him the 18th-winningest coach in the history of NCAA baseball and the second-winningest coach in the history of NCAA baseball in Texas, trailing only Cliff Gustafson, the former University of Texas coach. During his career, Vilade has coached 16 All-Americans and 26 of his former ballplayers signed professional baseball contracts.
In 2007, Vilade coached the UT-Tyler team to a 37-1 record. The team is featured in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Vilade played baseball for and is a graduate of Baylor University.
Carlos Olivas - Athletic Trainer
Carlos Olivas returns for his fifth season with the RoughRiders as the team's athletic trainer. In 2012 and 2013, he was named the "Athletic Trainer of the Year" for the Texas League by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS). He also spent two previous seasons with the Spokane Indians (the Rangers' short-season affiliate in the Northwest League). Prior to joining Spokane, Olivas spent eight years in the Los Angeles Dodgers Organization from 2001-2008.
Olivas has served in the same capacity for Jacksonville, Vero Beach, Columbus, South Georgia, and Great Falls. He also held internships with Atlanta and Tampa Bay in 2000. Olivas graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2000 with a B.S. in athletic training.
Eric McMahon - Strength & Conditioning Coach
Eric McMahon is in his his fifth season as Frisco's strength and conditioning coach and his seventh in the Texas organization. He was honored as the "Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year" for the Texas League in 2012 and 2014 by the Professional Baseball Strength & Conditioning Coaches Society (PBSCCS). He previously served in the same role with Advanced-A Bakersfield from 2009-10. Prior to joining the Rangers, McMahon worked with the Milwaukee Brewers for three seasons. In 2008, he was the strength and conditioning coach for the club's Double-A affiliate in Huntsville, after spending the 2006-07 seasons at Helena of the Pioneer League.
During the 2007-08 off-seasons, McMahon coordinated the strength and conditioning activity at the Major League Baseball and Federation of Italian Baseball and Softball (FIBS) Academy in Tirrenia, Italy. McMahon also worked in game day operations with the Vermont Expos from 1998-05.
McMahon is a graduate of St. Lawrence University with a B.S. in Biology (2004), and Springfield College with a M.Ed. in Exercise Science (2010). From 2005-07, he taught anatomy and physiology in the Springfield College Biology Department, and assisted as a strength and conditioning coach for baseball, football, golf, men's lacrosse, men's soccer, and women's volleyball.
In 2004-05, at Middlebury College, McMahon coached the outside linebackers and assisted in developing the football strength program. While at St. Lawrence, he was a four-year varsity football letter winner at center and an all-conference academic team honoree. At Burlington High School, in Vermont, McMahon played football, ice hockey, and baseball. He and his wife, Meredith, were married on October 23, 2010.