OMAHA, Neb. - Mike Jirschele, who has posted the most managerial wins in Omaha franchise history, was announced as a Major League Coach by the Kansas City Royals today in his first ever appointment to the big league coaching staff. Jirschele led the Storm Chasers to the Triple-A National Championship and a second Pacific Coast League Championship in the last three seasons in 2013. Jirschele will carry the title of Major League Coach with the Royals, with no further information of his duties available at this time.
Jirschele managed Omaha for a 14 seasons, and 11 consecutive years starting in 2003, and in his time at the helm he posted a career record of 995-1,018. In all, Jirschele led the Omaha Royals and Storm Chasers to four Division titles, and the team's only three appearances in the Pacific Coast League Championship. The Storm Chasers became one of only six teams in the history of the PCL to appear in three straight Championship series this season.
"We here at the Omaha Storm Chasers are extremely excited for Jirsch, who has shown an unmatched dedication to the Kansas City Royals and player development with 21 years in the organization," said Martie Cordaro, President and General Manager of the Storm Chasers. "We will never forget the years and moments of excitement he brought the fans of the Royals and the Storm Chasers, and he truly finished his time at Omaha on top. But above wins and championships, we will miss the class and professionalism he displayed as the leader of our team."
Jirschele's 995 wins as Omaha manager are more than three times as many as the second place manager, Jack McKeon at 298 wins, and his 2,013 games is nearly four times as many as McKeon's 557 games (who ranks second in that category as well). Jirschele's .494 winning percentage ranks seventh all-time in team history.
Kansas City posted 86 wins this season, their most since 1989. Of the 43 total players who suited up for the Royals this season, 19 played for Jirschele at Omaha before making their Major League debut with Kansas City.
Since 1995 the only positions Jirschele has held other than manager of Omaha was Kansas City's Roving Infield Instructor in 1998 and their Coordinator of Instruction from 1999-2002. Before joining Omaha for the 1995-1997 seasons, he managed the 1992 Gulf Coast League Champion GCL Royals (Rookie League), the 1993 Rockford Royals (Single-A) and the 1994 Carolina League Champion Wilmington Blue Rocks (Advanced Single-A). In 1994, The Sporting News named him the Minor League Manager of the Year.
Jirschele played 999 career games in the Minor Leagues as an infielder, for the Texas Rangers and Royals organizations. This includes 23 total games for the Omaha Royals in the 1988 and 1989 seasons near the end of his playing career.
At this time, there has been no announcement of who will take over as manager of Omaha for the 2014 season.