Lakeland, Fla. -- The Lakeland Flying Tigers, in conjunction with their parent club the Detroit Tigers, have announced their 2014 coaching staff. This season will mark Lakeland's 65th season in the Florida State League (FSL) and 48th as a Detroit Tigers Minor League affiliate, the longest affiliation in all of Minor League Baseball. Lakeland first began playing in the FSL in 1919.
Dave Huppert returns as manager of the Flying Tigers for his fourth season. This season marks Huppert's 27th season as manager at the Minor League level. Huppert has the most wins by any active manager in Minor League Baseball entering the 2014 season with 1,809. He guided the Flying Tigers to the Florida State League Championship in 2012.
Prior to joining the Detroit Tigers organization, he managed 23 seasons at the Minor League level with the Milwaukee Brewers (1986-91), Chicago White Sox (1993-98), Florida Marlins (1999-2001), Montreal Expos (2002-04) and Philadelphia Phillies (2006-10). He led Class A Lakewood to the South Atlantic League championship in 2006 and Class A Advanced Clearwater to the Florida State League championship in 2007. Additionally, he served as the bullpen catcher for the White Sox in 1992 and Huppert was the third base coach for the Washington Nationals in 2005. Huppert has been tabbed as Manager of the Year twice during his career, earning the honor in the California League in 1988 and the Florida State League in 2001.
Larry Herndon returns for his 10th season as hitting coach for the Flying Tigers. Herndon served as the Detroit Tigers hitting coach at the Major League level for seven seasons (1992-98). He batted .274 with 107 home runs in 14 seasons in the Majors as an outfielder. Herndon broke into the Majors with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1974, before playing six seasons with the San Francisco Giants (1976-81) and seven with the Tigers (1982-88). He batted .280 in 125 games as a member of the Tigers World Series Championship club in 1984. He was selected the National League Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News in 1976.
Mike Maroth returns as the Flying Tigers pitching coach for the third consecutive season. He spent six seasons with the Tigers (2002-07), compiling a 50-62 record with a 4.81 ERA in 147 appearances (143 starts). Maroth appeared in 14 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 after being acquired by the club in a two-player deal on June 22. Maroth pitched for 12 professional seasons after being selected by the Boston Red Sox in the third round of the 1998 Draft. He saw action with five different organizations during his career: Red Sox (1998-99), Tigers (1999-2007), Cardinals (2007), Kansas City Royals (2008) and Minnesota Twins (2010).
Jason Schwartzman will begin his first season as the trainer for the Flying Tigers. This will be his fourth season as a trainer in the Detroit Tigers organization. Schwartzman spent last season as the trainer with the Connecticut Tigers. Casey Bollier will serve as strength and conditioning coach. This is Bollier's first season in the Detroit Tigers organization.
The Flying Tigers open the FSL season on Thursday, April 3 against the Tampa Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and gates to Marchant Stadium will open at 5:30 p.m. The first 1,500 fans that enter the ballpark will receive a 2014 Flying Tigers magnet schedule. The Flying Tigers annual "Taste of Lakeland" will take place from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Tickets for all home games are available by calling the Flying Tigers at (863) 686-8075. Box seats are $6 and reserved seats are $5 and seniors 55 and over, children 14 and under and active military personnel receive a $1.00 discount. Day of game tickets (excluding Monday's) are an additional $1. Saturday tickets are an additional $1. Wednesday All-You-Can-Eat tickets are $10. Monday tickets are $1. Parking is free.
The Flying Tigers are the Class A Advanced Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. For more information please visit the Flying Tigers online at www.LakelandFlyingTigers.com or call (863) 686-8075.