Joe Ayrault will return to Helena to pursue another Pioneer League Championship as the Milwaukee Brewers announced their Player Development staff for the 2011 season today.
In his first season with the Brewers and in Helena, he led the team to a 41-34 regular season record and a playoff berth for the first time since 2007. Ayrault pushed them to the League Championship, beating division winners Ogden and Great, for Helena's first League Championship since 1996. Ayrault will be joined again by his staff from 2010. Ned Yost IV will return as hitting coach and Elvin Nina as pitching coach. Jimmy Gentry will return again as the athletic trainer.
"We are excited that Joe Ayrault and his staff are returning to the helm in 2011," said Reid Nichols, Director of Player Development for the Milwaukee Brewers. "Helena can expect the same passion and enthusiasm shown on the field during the 2010 Championship season." Before 2010, Ayrault managed in the Reds organization at Class-A Sarasota for three seasons (2007-09). Prior to that, he served as Sarasota's hitting coach in 2006 and handled the same duties for the Rookie GCL Reds from 2004-05. He also spent three seasons in the Rangers organization, where he served as a coach with the Rookie GCL Rangers (2001), Class-A Savannah (2002) and Class-A Stockton (2003). The former catcher spent his entire playing career in the Braves organization from 1990-97. He made his only Major League appearances in 1996, also making the postseason roster that year.
"I love Montana and the fans in Helena," Ayrault said from his home in Sarasota, FL. "I'm excited to return to Helena and work with the young players. My family enjoyed their time in Montana and we are all really excited to come back."
"Joe brings a level of professionalism and knowledge to our young players that make us strong competitors," said General Manager Paul Fetz. "We are extremely excited for Joe's return."
The Brewers season starts up June 20th when they will defend their Pioneer League title.