Gary Allenson -Manager
Allenson, the 19th manager in the team's modern era, will enter his 22nd season as a manager in the minor leagues. The 2015 season will be his 11th in the International League, having also managed in Louisville (1998-1999), Ottawa (2003) and Norfolk (2007-2011). Allenson also has seven years of Major League coaching experience, working three years with the Boston Red Sox (bullpen coach: 1992-1993, 3B coach: 1994) and three with the Milwaukee Brewers (1B coach: 2000, 3B coach: 2001-2002). He was the Baltimore Orioles' 3B coach for the second half of the 2010 season.
Allenson has posted a 145-142 (.505) record in his two seasons with the Bisons, including a 77-66 mark in 2014 that was the 4th-best record in the International League that season. Last year, Buffalo finished 3rd in the IL North Division while ranking in the circuit's Top 5 in both hitting (T3rd -.260 average) and pitching (5th -3.32 ERA).
Allenson has a career managerial record of 1,245-1,362 (.478 pct.). His career began in 1987 in the New York Yankees organization and he won a New York-Penn League Championship in his second season with the Oneonta Yankees (48-28). He then served as a minor league manager for Boston (1989-1991), Texas (1996), Houston (1997), Milwaukee (1998-1999), Baltimore (2003, 2006-2011) and Florida (2012). In his five seasons with Norfolk from 2007-2011, he won a Tides' franchise record 284 games (284-341). In 2013, he joined the Toronto Blue Jays organization and led the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats to a 68-72 record and a 3rd place finish in the Eastern League Eastern division.
Allenson was drafted as a catcher by Boston in the ninth round of the 1976 draft and spent six seasons (1979-1984) as a catcher in the Major Leagues with the Red Sox before finishing his career with 14 games for the Blue Jays in 1985. Overall, Allenson hit .221 with 19 home runs and 131 RBI in 416 career big league games. He was also named the International League MVP in 1978 after he hit .299 with 20 home runs and 76 RBI for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Richie Hebner -Hitting Coach
Hebner is in his 3rd season as Bisons Hitting Coach. Under Hebner, the Herd's offense has finished with a .260 team average in each of the last two seasons -a mark that was tied for the 3rd best in the International League in 2015. In each of the past two years under Hebner, the Bisons' offense has ranked in the Top 3 in the IL for fewest strikeouts (T1st in 2015, 878) and for most walks (3rd in 2015, 491). The Bisons have posted a +103 run differential in two seasons with Hebner as the hitting coach.
Hebner began his coaching career in 1988 and has served as a Major League hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox (1989-1991) and the Philadelphia Phillies (2001). He has also spent five years as a minor league manager and was named Manager of the Year in the South Atlantic League for leading the Blue Jays' Single-A affiliate Myrtle Beach to a 83-56 record. He also managed Toronto's Triple-A affiliate Syracuse during the 1996 season (67-75) before serving as the skipper for Nashville (Milwaukee) of the Pacific Coast League in 1997 (63-79). Hebner served as the hitting coach for the Durham Bulls from 2002-2006 and helped the club to back-to-back Governors' Cup championships from 2002-2003.
Hebner played 18 Major League season with the Pirates, Phillies, Mets, Tigers and Cubs, posting a .276 career batting average with 1,694 hits. He had 10 or more home runs in 11 seasons, including a career high 25 for the Pirates in 1973. Hebner participated in eight National League championship series and won a World Series with Pittsburgh in 1971.
Bob Stanley -Pitching Coach
Stanley is in his second season as the Bisons pitching coach, having also held the position during the 2013 season under then-manager Marty Brown. That season, Buffalo pitchers walked 17 fewer batters (435) than any other team in the IL. He spent the 2014 season as the Blue Jays' bullpen coach before returning to the minor league side in 2015 as the pitching coach for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League.
Stanley made his coaching debut in 2012 as the pitching coach with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. He played 13 years in the Major Leagues, all of them with the Boston Red Sox. Stanley was a 1st round pick of the Red Sox in 1974 and was Boston's all-time saves leader with 132 until Jonathan Papelbon passed him during the 2009 season. Overall, Stanley was 115-97 with a 3.64ERA and 693 strikeouts in 637 career games. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2000.
Voon Chong -Athletic Trainer
Chong is in his 4th season as the Bisons athletic trainer and his 15th season in the Toronto organization. He is also in his seventh season as the athletic trainer at the Triple-A level. He was the athletic trainer for six seasons (2004-09) with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League. During his time with the Fisher Cats, he was named the 2007 Eastern League Athletic Trainer of the Year. Chong also serves as Assistant Minor League Athletic Trainer and Rehabiliation Coordinator for the Blue Jays.
Chong attended Simon Fraser University and earned his degree in Kinesiology. He resides in Vancouver, Canada.
Jason Dowse -Strength Coach
Dowse is entering his second season as the Bisons Strength & Conditioning Coach and his sixth season as a Strength Coach in the Blue Jays Organization. He spent three seasons in Single-A Lansing (2011-2013) and one in Single-A Dunedin (2014) of the Florida State League. Dowse also interned with the Blue Jays Major League team during the 2010 season.
In the 2014 off-season, Dowse worked with some of Canada's top Amateur Baseball talent throughout the country. He has also been part of Major League Baseball's Envoy Program for the past three years.
Dowse attended Brock University and earned his degree in Physical Education / Kinesiology. He is Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach through the NSCA.