Hickory, NC- The Texas Rangers, Major League parent club of the Hickory Crawdads, have announced the 2017 coaching staff for the 'Dads, with Spike Owen tabbed as the new manager. Owen will be the 16th manager in Crawdads history and fifth since the start of the affiliation with the Rangers.
Owen highlights a group of four newcomers, including hitting coach Kenny Hook, coach Sharnol Adriana, and strength and conditioning coach Adam Noel. Both pitching coach Jose Jaimes and athletic trainer Dustin Vissering will return for their second season in Hickory.
Owen, 55, originally named the Crawdads manager for the 2016 season, spent last year with the Texas Rangers as the interim third base coach. He made his managerial debut with the Class-A Advanced High Desert Mavericks in 2015, where he guided the team to a 78-62 record and a Second Half South Division title in the California League. Owen originally joined the Rangers organization in 2009 and served two seasons as minor league infield coordinator before spending four years as a member of the coaching staff at Triple-A Round Rock. Drafted by Seattle in the 1st round (6th overall selection) in the 1982 Draft, Owen went on to hit .246 with 46 home runs and 439 RBI over 1,544 big league games. In addition to almost four seasons with the Mariners (1983-86), he also spent time in the Boston (1986-88), Montreal (1989-92), New York - AL (1993) and California (1994-95) organizations before ending his playing career with the Rangers Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City in 1996.
Hook, 41, will be in his first year as hitting coach for the Crawdads and his fourth full year in the Rangers organization. He served in the same capacity last season with the short-season Spokane Indians as well as the two previous seasons with the AZL Rangers. The Texas native spent three seasons with the Kansas City T-Bones of the independent American Association, including two years as manager from 2012-13. Hook played professionally for the Amarillo Dillas from 1997-2000 and was a part of their 1999 Texas-Louisiana championship club.
Jaimes, 32, returns to Hickory for his second year as pitching coach and his ninth full year in the Rangers organization. The former Texas farmhand began his coaching career during the 2008 campaign, when he served in a dual role as a player and pitching coach in the Arizona League. The Venezuela native would go on to spend four seasons as a pitching coach with the DSL Rangers before making his stateside debut in 2013 with the AZL Rangers and serving in the same capacity in 2014 with the Spokane Indians. Jaimes was originally signed by the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2001 and went 12-8 with a 4.93 ERA over six seasons in the Texas farm system.
Adriana, 46, joins the Crawdads after serving as coach for the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders last season. He joined the Rangers organization in January 2016 after previously working as a hitting coach for Veracruz in the Mexican League following a playing a career that spanned 23 years. The Curacao native was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 15th round of the 1991 June Draft out of Martin Methodist University in Pulaski, TN. Adriana went on to play eight seasons in the Blue Jays minor league system prior to 15 seasons in the Independent and Mexican Leagues. In 2014, he played his final season at age 43 with Veracruz and Reynosa in the Mexican League.
Vissering, 29, returns to the Crawdads for his second season as the team's athletic trainer and fourth overall with Texas. He was previously the trainer with the AZL Rangers in 2014 and for Spokane in 2015. Prior to joining the Rangers, Vissering spent the 2013 season as a minor league athletic trainer in the Kansas City organization before working as an assistant athletic trainer in the Arizona Fall League. The Illinois State graduate worked as a student athletic trainer during his time on campus, in addition to time as trainer at Normal West Community High School. Vissering was also a graduate assistant at Western Illinois University, where he obtained a M.S. of Science in Sport Management.
Noel, 27, enters his first year as strength and conditioning coach for the Crawdads after serving in the same role with the AZL Rangers last season. He joined the Rangers organization in September 2015 after spending the previous two years as a graduate assistant athletic performance coach at San Jose State University, where he earned a Masters of Art degree in Kinesiology and worked with Olympic Sports. Noel has also worked as an intern athletic performance coach at UCLA and performance coach at Velocity Sports Performance. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology.
For more information on the Crawdads 2017 coaching staff, call the 'Dads front office at (828) 322-3000.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.