Dragons Announce 2020 Coaching Staff

Former Reds Infielder Gookie Dawkins to become 10th Manager in Dragons History

By Tom Nichols / Dayton Dragons | November 12, 2019 4:09 PM

Dayton, Ohio-The Dayton Dragons announced their 2020 coaching staff today, as assigned by the Cincinnati Reds.  

Gookie Dawkins-Manager

Brian Garman-Pitching Coach

Hernan Iribarren-Bench Coach

Darryl Brinkley-Hitting Coach

Travis "Gookie" Dawkins, a former Reds infielder, will become the 10th manager in Dragons history. He will replace Luis Bolivar, who will remain in the Reds organization in a new role. Bolivar served as the Dragons manager for the last three seasons (2017-19) and was the Dragons hitting coach for three years from 2014-16.

Dawkins will enter his sixth season as a manager or coach in the Reds organization in 2020 after a 15-year professional playing career. He served as the manager for the Greeneville Reds of the Appalachian League in 2018 and 2019. Previously, Dawkins was the hitting coach for Double-A Pensacola in 2017; the hitting coach at Advanced-A Daytona in 2016; and the hitting coach for the Rookie-level Arizona League Reds in 2015.  

Dawkins, 40, played in 55 major league games from 1999-2003 including 53 with the Reds. During the 1999 season, he made the huge jump from the Midwest League with Rockford all the way to the Major Leagues with the Reds within the same season, making his MLB debut at the age of 20. Dawkins was ranked as the Reds #1 prospect entering the 2000 season. 

A middle infielder, Dawkins' playing career continued through the 2011 season. He played in 1,508 games in professional baseball. His extensive career as a player including stops with 18 different minor league teams. In addition to his time in the big league with the Reds, he also saw major league time with the Kansas City Royals. 

Dawkins was originally signed as a second round draft pick by the Reds in 1997 out of Newberry High School in South Carolina. Dawkins was a member of the 2000 United States Olympic Baseball team that won the gold medal in Sydney, Australia.

Wapakoneta, Ohio native Brian Garman will join the Dragons in 2020 as the club's new pitching coach. Garman served as a pitching coach in the Los Angeles Angels system for the last two seasons, working at Orem in 2019 and Inland Empire in 2018. Garman pitched at Wapakoneta High School and the University of Cincinnati before being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010. He spent four years as a pitcher in the Brewers system, reaching the Double-A level in his final year in 2013.

Former Reds utility man Hernan Iribarren will join the Dragons as bench coach in 2020. Iribarren made the transition from player to coach in 2019, serving as the bench coach at Billings after spending the previous five years as a player with the Reds Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats. Iribarren played professionally from 2004-2018. He reached the Major Leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 and 2009 and then appeared in 24 games for the Reds in 2016, batting .311. 

Darryl Brinkley will join the Dragons as hitting coach in 2020 in his fifth season as a coach in the Reds organization. He served as the hitting coach at Billings in 2019. Brinkley's professional playing career lasted 16 seasons from 1994-2009, including time in independent professional baseball. In 2007, he batted .400 for Calgary of the independent Northern League. Brinkley reached the Triple-A level for five seasons in the Pirates and Orioles organizations, batting .319 at that level in 431 games.

2019 Dragons coaches Seth Etherton and Kevin Mahar, like Luis Bolivar, will remain in the Reds organization in 2020 with new assignments. 

Bolivar leaves the Dragons after being selected in a 2019 fan vote as the manager on the Dragons all-time starting nine, and also being selected by a 2019 media panel as one of the "20 Greatest Dragons" in franchise history. He has spent eight of the club's 20 years of operation in a Dragons uniform. His tenure includes two years as a player including an all-star game appearance, three years as the team's hitting coach, and three years as manager. 

The Dragons 2020 Opening Night is set for Thursday, April 9 against the Great Lakes Loons at 7:00 p.m. Call the Dragons at (937) 228-2287 for information on season tickets, group outings, party decks, or luxury suites.

Dragons All-Time Coaching Staffs

Year     Manager                       Pitching Coach            Batting Coach              Coach

2000     Freddie Benavides        Don Alexander             Brian Conley

2001     Donnie Scott                 Bill Moloney                  Brian Conley

2002     Donnie Scott                 Ted Power                    Brian Conley

2003     Donnie Scott                 Jaime Garcia                 Billy White

2004     Alonzo Powell               Larry Pierson                Max Venable

2005     Alonzo Powell               Larry Pierson                Chris Sabo

2006     Billy Gardner, Jr.           Larry Pierson*               Alonzo Powell

2007     Donnie Scott                 Doug Bair                     Darren Bragg

2008     Donnie Scott                 Doug Bair                     Darren Bragg

2009     Todd Benzinger             Tony Fossas                 Tony Jaramillo

2010     Todd Benzinger             Tony Fossas                 Ken Griffey Sr.*

2011     Delino DeShields           Tony Fossas                 Alex Pelaez

2012     Delino DeShields           Tom Browning               Alex Pelaez

2013     Jose Nieves                  Tony Fossas                 Alex Pelaez

2014     Jose Nieves                  Tony Fossas                 Luis Bolivar

2015     Jose Nieves                  Tom Browning               Luis Bolivar                   Corky Miller

2016     Dick Schofield             Derrin Ebert                  Luis Bolivar                   Corky Miller

2017     Luis Bolivar                   Derrin Ebert                  Daryle Ward                  Kevin Mahar

2018     Luis Bolivar                   Seth Etherton                Daryle Ward                  Kevin Mahar

2019     Luis Bolivar                   Seth Etherton                Mike Devereaux            Kevin Mahar

2020     Gookie Dawkins            Brian Garman                Darryl Brinkley               Hernan Iribarren

 

*Pete Magre served as pitching coach for a portion of the 2006 season. Jason Baker served as Batting Coach for a portion of the 2010 season. 

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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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