The Norfolk Tides and their parent club, the Baltimore Orioles, today announced Norfolk's field staff for the 2015 season. Ron Johnson will return as Manager, Mike Griffin will serve as Pitching Coach, Sean Berry will be the club's Hitting Coach and Jose Hernandez will return as a Field Coach. Mark Shires will return as the team's Athletic Trainer, while Trevor Howell will be the club's Strength and Conditioning Coach.
"We are thrilled to have Ron Johnson back leading our coaching staff this year" said Tides General Manager Joe Gregory. "RJ and the rest of his staff have been instrumental in preparing our players to go on and have success with the Orioles, but it's his infectious personality that makes him such a pleasure to work with on a daily basis."
Johnson, 58, is entering his fourth year in the Orioles organization after spending the previous 12 seasons in the Boston Red Sox system. He has posted a 216-216 record over his first three seasons as the Tides manager, including back-to-back winning campaigns in 2012 and 2013. Johnson's 216 victories are just 68 shy of matching Gary Allenson's 284 victories for the most in Tides franchise history.
In 21 seasons as a minor league manager Johnson has compiled a career record of 1,477-1,478. Johnson, who was an All-American at Fresno State University and is the father of Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1978 and played in 22 Major League games over parts of three seasons with the Royals (1982-83) and Expos (1984).
Griffin, 57, is entering his seventh season as Norfolk's pitching coach and his eighth season in the Orioles organization. Griffin was presented with the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award in both 2009 and 2010, an award presented to a minor league staff member who exemplifies the qualities of the late Oriole who is regarded as the architect of "The Oriole Way". As a player, he appeared in 67 major league games over parts of five seasons with five different organizations.
Berry, 48, is entering his first season as Norfolk's hitting coach as he takes the reigns from Denny Walling, who retired after the 2014 campaign. Berry has previously served as the San Diego Padres minor league hitting coordinator in addition to working as the Houston Astros hitting coach. He appeared in 860 major league games over 11 seasons with the Royals, Expos, Astros, Brewers and Red Sox, posting a career .272 average with 81 home runs.
Hernandez, 45, is entering his third season as a coach with Norfolk and his fourth in the Orioles system. He played 1,587 major league games over a 15-year career from 1991-2006, playing with nine different teams. He was a National League All-Star with Milwaukee in 2002 and he belted 168 home runs over his career, the 17th-most by a player born in Puerto Rico.
Shires, 38, will be in his ninth season as the Athletic Trainer for the Tides and his 16th with the Orioles system. Shires has twice been named the International League Trainer of the Year (2009 & 2011).
Howell, 28, is in his second year as the Strength and Conditioning coach in Norfolk, and his third within the Orioles system. He received his Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in Exercise Science from the University of Southern Florida.