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Coaching Staff

 

Luis Bolivar

Manager

Bolivar returns to the Dragons for his second season as manager after serving as the Dragons hitting coach for three seasons, 2014-16. He is the ninth manager in Dragons history. Under Bolivar's direction in 2017, the Dragons qualified for the Midwest League playoffs by posting a record of 41-29 in the season's first half. They won their first round playoff series over West Michigan to advance to the post-season semi-finals, where they extended Fort Wayne to a third and deciding game before falling. It was the first time in Dragons history that they had reached the third game of a semi-final round playoff series. Bolivar played in 180 games for the Dragons in 2003-'04 and represented Dayton in the 2004 Midwest League All-Star Game. He is the first Dragons player to also serve as a coach or manager for the team. Bolivar began his coaching career as the hitting coach for the AZL Reds in 2013.

PLAYING CAREER: Bolivar spent nine years in the Minor Leagues including eight seasons in the Reds organization. From 2002-'09, he played at every level in the Reds farm system. He played at least 150 games at three different positions, working at second base, shortstop, and third base. He also saw action in left field, right field, and first base. On April 7, 2008, Bolivar became just the 11th player in Southern League history to collect six hits in one game as a member of the Chattanooga Lookouts.

PERSONAL: Bolivar, 36, has resided in the Dayton suburb of Vandalia since his tenure as a Dragons player and served as an assistant coach at Vandalia-Butler High School prior to joining the Reds as a coach in 2013. He and his wife, Kelly have four children: Kamryn, Luisa, Zoey, and Enzo. Bolivar was born and raised in Venezuela before coming the United States as a Reds prospect in 2002. He became a U.S. citizen in 2017 in a legal ceremony that was attended by every player on the Dragons team.


 

 

Seth Etherton

Pitching Coach

Etherton, a former Reds pitcher, joins the Dragons in 2018 as the team's new pitching coach. Etherton, who pitched one scoreless inning for the Dragons on a Major League injury rehabilitation assignment in 2002, served as the pitching coach for last two seasons with the Billings Mustangs, one level lower in the Reds system. As the pitching coach at Billings in 2016-17, Etherton assisted in the development of several pitchers who eventually advanced to the Dragons. In 2016, he worked with a Billings staff that featured Scott Moss, Tony Santillan, and Wennington Romero, all of whom became 2017 Midwest League all-stars with the Dragons. The Billings staff finished second in the Pioneer League in team earned run average in both years of Etherton's tutelage.

PLAYING CAREER: Etherton was the Anaheim Angels first round draft pick in 1998 out of the University of Southern California. He spent parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues with the Angels, Reds, Athletics, and Royals in a big league career that was impacted by shoulder surgery in 2001. Etherton made 23 MLB starts and posted a career record of 9-7. He started seven games for the Reds in 2003.

PERSONAL: Etherton, 41, is a native of Laguna Beach, California. He attended Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California.


 

 

Daryle Ward

Hitting Coach

Ward returns to the Dragons for his second season as hitting coach in 2018. This is his third year in coaching in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Ward served as the hitting coach with the Goodyear Reds in the Arizona League in 2016. In Dayton in 2017, Ward was instumental in the development of Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year Jose Siri as well as Reds top-10 prospects Taylor Trammell and Tyler Stephenson and MWL all-stars T.J. Friedl and Michael Beltre.

PLAYING CAREER: Ward played professionally for 22 seasons from 1994-2015. He spent seven full seasons and parts of four others in the Major Leagues, primarily as a left fielder and first baseman. Ward played in 948 big league games with the Astros, Dodgers, Pirates, Nationals, Braves, and Cubs. His best season came in 2002 with Houston when he appeared in 136 games and batted .276 with 31 doubles, 12 home runs, and 72 runs batted in. He connected on a career-high 20 home runs in 2000 with the Astros. In the later stages of Ward's Major League career, he emerged as one of the National League's top pinch hitters. He led all of baseball in pinch hits and runs batted in as a pinch hitter in 2006 while finishing tied for first in pinch hit home runs. Following the completion of his Major League career in 2008, Ward spent parts of the next seven years as player in the independent Atlantic League before retiring at the age of 40 following the 2015 season. Ward played in 2,318 professional games including his time in the majors, minors, independent ball, and the Mexican League. He was originally signed by the Tigers as a 15th round draft pick in 1994 out of Rancho Santiago College in California.

PERSONAL: Ward, 41, is a native of the Los Angeles area and now makes his off-season home in Riverside, California. His father, Gary Ward, was a Major League All-Star selection with both the Twins and Rangers as part of a 12-year Major League playing career.


 

 

Kevin Mahar

Bench Coach

Mahar returns to the Dragons for his second season as bench coach. He previously spent three years as a hitting coach in the Reds system from 2013-15. He coached the hitters at Billings for two seasons before spending a year with Daytona, then was out of coaching in 2016.

PLAYING CAREER: Mahar, a former outfielder/first baseman, played professionally for seven seasons and reached the big leagues with the Texas Rangers in 2007. He was signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent in 2004 out of Indiana University and completed his playing career in 2010 in the Phillies organization. Mahar was selected as a California League full-season all-star in 2005 with Bakersfield when he batted .315 with 17 home runs.

PERSONAL: Mahar, 36, grew up in Midland, Michigan, home of the Midwest League's Great Lakes Loons. He currently resides in Jasper, Indiana.


 

Kyle Utne

Athletic Trainer


 

Trey Strickland

Strength and Conditioning Coach


 

Tyler Steele

Medical Liaison