The Durham Bulls, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays, have announced Brady Williams will be returning as manager of the Bulls for his second season with the team. Joining Williams on the Bulls coaching staff is Pitching Coach Rick Knapp, Hitting Coach Kyle Wilson, Bullpen Coaches Alberto Bastardo and
The Durham Bulls, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays, have announced Brady Williams will be returning as manager of the Bulls for his second season with the team. Joining Williams on the Bulls coaching staff is Pitching Coach Rick Knapp, Hitting Coach Kyle Wilson, Bullpen Coaches Alberto Bastardo and José Gonzalez, and Coach Reinaldo Ruiz.
In 2019 Williams led the Bulls back to the Governors’ Cup Finals, falling just short of winning a third straight title. In his first season at the Triple-A level, Williams guided the team to a 75-win season and the league’s Wild Card spot. Prior to joining the Bulls in 2019, the 40-year old managed the Rays’ Double-A affiliate Montgomery Biscuits for five seasons, leading the team to four consecutive playoff appearances.
Wilson joined the Bulls as hitting coach leading up to the cancelled 2020 season, replacing Dan Dement who was promoted to Minor League Hitting Coordinator. The 33-year old joined the Rays organization after spending the 2019 season as hitting coach of the Arkansas Travelers. Although drafted out of Hill College by the Chicago Cubs in the 31st round of the 2008 draft, he continued to NC State, setting a school record for stolen bases (30) in 2009. He was then drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 24th round of the 2010 draft, but never appeared in professional baseball. He also owns The Performance Academy in Apex, a facility that provides comprehensive, cutting-edge training for athletes of all ability levels.
Knapp returns for his third season coaching the Bulls pitching staff. The team led the league in strikeouts (1,329) and had the second-fewest walks surrendered (443) during the 2019 campaign. The Bulls also led the league in shutouts (10 – tied with Toledo) and recorded two team no-hitters, one at home and one on the road, in 2019.
Bastardo and Gonzalez will split the Bulls’ Bullpen Coach duties in 2021 for the first and second halves of the season, respectively. Bastardo previously served as Pitching Coach with the Princeton Rays and GCL Rays, while Gonzalez served as Pitching Coach with the Hudson Valley Renegades.
Ruiz will join the Bulls for his 11th season in the Rays organization after managing the Bowling Green Hot Rods and Port Charlotte Stone Crabs 2015-19. 2021 marks Ruiz’s 24th season in professional baseball, including his 16th in a coaching or managing role.
Returning to Durham for a seventh season is the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach Bryan King. The Bulls will have two Athletic Trainers for the 2021 campaign, Scott Thurston, back in Durham for his third season, is joined by Kris Russell. King joined the Bulls in 2014 after spending five seasons as the Major League Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. Thurston has been with the Rays organization since 2008, when he was named the Athletic Trainer for the Princeton Rays. Russell previously served as Athletic Trainer for the Montgomery Biscuits since 2012, earning league Trainer of the Year accolades in 2014.
The Bulls will start the 2021 campaign at home against the Gwinnett Stripers on Tuesday, April 6. Season memberships and group outings are available now at durhambulls.com or by calling 919.956.BULL.