PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The St. Lucie Mets have announced their coaching staff and released their schedule for the 2013 Florida State League season. Ryan Ellis returns as St. Lucie Mets Manager and is joined for the second consecutive season by pitching coach Phil Regan and hitting coach Benny Distefano.
The St. Lucie Mets are celebrating their 25th anniversary and will play 140 scheduled games with 70 contests at home. The Mets host the Jupiter Hammerheads in the season opener on Thursday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. and conclude the 2013 campaign Sunday, September 1st.
Ellis begins his second season as the team's manager. He was named Florida State League Manager of the Year in 2012 as the Mets finished with the most wins in team history at 83-52. Ellis guided the Mets to the First Half South Division Championship. The 49 wins were the most in any half of a season for the Mets.
In 2011, Ellis was named South Atlantic League Manager of the Year and guided the Savannah Sand Gnats to the first half division title while reaching the Championship Series. Ellis was recognized by Baseball America as the Best Manager Prospect for the South Atlantic League. Prior to his first managerial role, Ellis was the hitting coach for the Sand Gnats in 2009 and 2010.
Veteran pitching coach Phil Regan enters his fifth season with the St. Lucie Mets. Regan was the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians in 1999 and served in the same role for the Chicago Cubs in 1997 and 1998. He also was the pitching coach for Team USA during the 2000 Olympics. Regan managed the Baltimore Orioles to a 71-73 record during the strike-shortened 1995 season.
Benny Distefano is back for his second stint as St. Lucie Mets hitting coach. Distefano is in his fourth season with the Mets organization, previously serving as hitting coach with the Savannah Sand Gants in 2011 and the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2010.
Jake Henderson returns as the team's strength and conditioning coach. This is his seventh season in the Mets organization and fourth with the St. Lucie Mets. Henderson was the strength and conditioning coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones from 2008-2009.
Deb Iwanow enters her third season as the team's athletic trainer. Iwanow was the athletic trainer for the Brooklyn Cyclones from 2009-2010 and served in the same role for the Kingsport Mets from 2006-2008.
For more information on the St. Lucie Mets 2013 Florida State League season, visit stluciemets.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.