The Tulsa Drillers coaching staff for the 2014 season has been set, and it will have a familiar look to it. The Drillers and Colorado Rockies announced that Kevin Riggs will return for his second season as manager of the Texas League club. In addition, pitching coach Darryl Scott and hitting coach Darin Everson will also be back for their second seasons assisting Riggs.
There will be one change to the Tulsa staff. Former Drillers manager Ron Gideon will replace Duane Espy as the Double A Supervisor. Espy and Gideon are switching roles this season, with Espy replacing Gideon as supervisor for short-season Tri-City in the Northwest League. The pair requested the moves to allow both to be closer to their homes during the baseball season.
In his first year as a professional manager, Riggs enjoyed a successful rookie campaign, leading the Drillers to their second straight Texas League playoff appearance. Tulsa won the first-half North Division title and recorded a 68-70 regular season record before losing to Arkansas in the division playoffs.
"I couldn't be happier about returning to Tulsa," said Riggs. "The support we get is second to none in minor league baseball, and I have really enjoyed my past two summers in the city. On the field, the seasons didn't end exactly how we wanted them to, so we have some unfinished business to take care of this year."
Prior to joining the managerial ranks, Riggs had been a hitting coach in the Rockies system for six seasons. He had spent time in Casper, Asheville and Modesto before moving to Tulsa to become the Drillers hitting coach in 2012.
Scott and Everson are also entering their second seasons in their respective roles with the Drillers.
In his first year as the Drillers pitching coach, Scott helped the Drillers compile the third-lowest team ERA in the Texas League. The ex-pitcher has been a coach in the minors since 2009, following an 11-year professional playing career. The right-hander made it to the majors, pitching in 16 games for the California Angels during the 1993 season.
Hitting coach Everson moved into his role with Tulsa last year following a stint as manager in the independent Atlantic League with the Washington Wild Things in 2010 and 2011. Everson also managed in the Florida Marlins system with Short-Season Jamestown (2007-2008) and Class A Greensboro (2009).
Gideon is new to the Double A Supervisor role, but he is not new to Tulsa. He spent 1½ seasons as the Drillers manager in 2009 and 2010. The veteran will be in his 18th season with the Rockies.
Head trainer Chris Dovey and strength and conditioning coach Brian Buck will complete the staff and will also return for their second seasons in their respective roles with the Drillers.
The Drillers will officially begin spring training workouts in Arizona in early March. They will open the 2014 regular season on Thursday, April 3 by hosting Corpus Christi at ONEOK Field.