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Mighty Mussels Announce 2024 Coaching Staff

January 22, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. (January 22, 2024) – In conjunction with the Minnesota Twins, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are excited to announce their coaching staff for the upcoming 2024 season. Brian Meyer returns for his fourth season as the team’s manager after posting three consecutive winning seasons in Fort Myers.

FORT MYERS, Fla. (January 22, 2024) – In conjunction with the Minnesota Twins, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are excited to announce their coaching staff for the upcoming 2024 season.

Brian Meyer returns for his fourth season as the team’s manager after posting three consecutive winning seasons in Fort Myers. He will be joined by four returning staff members and three new ones:

Richard Salazar – Pitching Coach (2nd Season)

Ryan Ricci – Pitching Coach (1st Season)

Luis Reyes – Hitting Coach (2nd Season)

Michael Ahmed – Hitting & Development Coach (1st Season)

Matt Anti – Strength & Conditioning Coach (2nd Season)

Asja Morello – Lead Athletic Trainer (2nd Season)

Morgan Leichtenberger – Assistant Athletic Trainer (1st Season)

Meyer has compiled a 196-177 (.525) record as the Fort Myers’ skipper. In that span, he’s overseen the development of approximately 75 players who have earned promotions to High-Cedar Rapids. Five have already debuted in the Major Leagues (Edouard Julien, Louie Varland, Brent Headrick, Casey Legumina, Sawyer Gipson-Long).

The Cincinnati native joined the Twins’ organization as a minor league hitting coach in 2020 after 13 years in the college ranks. He was named Mussels’ manager prior to the 2021 season and has held the title ever since. Under his direction, Fort Myers claimed the First Half Championship in the FSL West in 2022, posting a dominant 41-23 record. That run earned him 2022 Florida State League Manager of the Year.

Previous Stops: Butler (2017-19), Tulane (2012-16), Wright State (2010-11), Otterbein College (Coach – 2007-09, Player – 2001-04)

*Richard Salazar - Pitching Coach (2nd Season) *

Salazar enters his seventh year in the Minnesota’ Twins organization and the second with the Mighty Mussels. He spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons as a pitching coach for High-A Cedar Rapids.

The Caracas, Venezuela native led Mussels’ pitchers to the best opponents’ batting average (.234) in the Florida State League in 2023, with the staff finishing top-4 in the league in ERA (4.44) and WHIP (1.38).

While with the Kernels, Salazar and Mark Moriarty combined to lead Kernels hurlers to the best ERA in the Midwest League in back-to-back seasons. The 2022 Cedar Rapids Kernels worked to a 3.66 ERA, striking out 1,250 batters in 1,140 innings (9.9 K/9) while issuing the second fewest walks (424). The 2021 team went 67-53 with a 3.88 ERA, fanning a remarkable 1,303 batters in 1,052 innings (11.1 K/9). Both Kernels teams qualified for the Midwest League Playoffs. The 2021 squad reached the League Championship Series before ultimately losing the decisive game to Quad Cities.

Salazar came to the United States to pitch for Miami Dade College before getting drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th Round of the 2001 MLB Draft. From there, Salazar embarked on a 17-year minor league journey that brought him to various parts of the globe. The now 42-year-old amassed 1,523.1 innings from 2001 until he finally retired in 2017.

Previous Coaching Stops: Elizabethton Twins (2019), Chattanooga Lookouts (2018)

Ryan Ricci - Pitching Coach (1st Season)

Ricci joins the Twins’ organization after three seasons as a Division I pitching coach. Ricci spent the 2023 season with George Mason, leading the Patriots to an Atlantic 10 Championship and an NCAA Regional final, the furthest the program has ever gone. Patriots’ hurlers posted the best ERA (5.02) in the league, a mark that was over 1.40 runs better than ten of the other 11 teams in the league. George Mason pitchers also broke the single-season school record for opponents’ batting average (.258) and strikeouts (516), fanning over 120 batters more than their opponents.

The Greencastle, Pennsylvania native spent the previous two seasons at Lafayette College. His pitching staff led the Patriot League in Conference ERA (3.84) and strikeouts (397) in 2022 after advancing to the league semifinals in 2021.

Ricci began his coaching career by returning to his alma mater of George Mason for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, serving as both a graduate assistant and strength and conditioning coach.

As a player, he ranks fourth in George Mason history in appearances (70) and set the single-season record for BB/9 (0.79). Over his final two seasons, he combined to post a 2.55 ERA over 56.1 innings of work. Ricci graduated with a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and a Master’s degree in Sports Management.

After four years with the Patriots, Ricci signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching in 15 career games at two different levels in 2018.

Luis Reyes - Hitting Coach (2nd Season)

Reyes returns to the Mighty Mussels after serving as the Mussels’ assistant hitting coach in 2023. He helped Fort Myers’ hitters set the franchise record with 103 home runs while leading the Florida State League in slugging percentage (.388). Responsible for coaching first base, Reyes guided the Mussels to 173 stolen bases (1.4 SB/G) and an 81% success rate.

Before his time with the Mussels, Reyes was a coach for the FCL Twins in 2022. Prior to being hired by Minnesota in December of 2021, Reyes coached eight seasons at four different colleges in the Midwest.

Born in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, Reyes emigrated to the United States in 2009 to play for Iowa Lakes Community College. After two seasons with the Lakers, he anchored the left side of the infield for Clarke University (Dubuque, Iowa) from 2012-13. As a senior in 2013, he hit .313 with a team-high 21 walks over 46 games while earning the league’s Gold Glove Award at third base.

Previous Coaching Stops: Texas A&M International (2021), Northwest Oklahoma State (2018-20), Murray State Junior College (2017), Marietta High School (Okla. - 2016), Clarke University (2015), Myrtle Beach Riptides (2015)

Michael Ahmed - Hitting & Development Coach (1st Season)

Ahmed joins the Minnesota Twins’ organization after spending the last two years as both a coach for Plex Baseball and a health performance coach with his brother Nick Ahmed at 7 Pillar Health & Performance. In 2021, he served as a coach in the Seattle Mariners’ organization with Low-A Modesto.

Ahmed played seven seasons of professional baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners organizations, reaching Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2017 and 2018. He racked up 465 career hits and 39 home runs, finishing his affiliated career with a .264/.355/.401 slash line. His primary position was third base, but he also appeared in over 30 games at each of the other three infield positions.

The Springfield, Massachusetts native was selected in the 20th Round of the 2013 MLB Draft by Los Angeles after a three-year career at Holy Cross. He posted a .283/.389/.447 career slash line over 137 games, earning First Team All-Patriot League honors as a sophomore in 2012. He also played an important role on the Crusaders’ pitching staff, appearing on the mound in at least six games each season. As a junior in 2013, he registered a 4.70 ERA over 30.2 innings. Ahmed majored in economics.

After retiring from baseball, he earned degrees from Liberty University and the Institute of Transformational Nutrition.

Matt Anti – Strength & Conditioning Coach (2nd Season)

Anti returns to the Mussels for his second year as the club’s Strength & Conditioning Coach. He joined the Twins’ organization in 2022 after six years at four different Division I universities. He spent the previous year at the University of Pittsburgh, training the softball, wrestling and volleyball teams. In 2020-21, Anti worked at Mississippi State University, working with the softball and track and field programs.

While in graduate school, he trained the football team at West Virginia University. His first college experience came at Air Force, where he worked with the boxing and rifle teams from 2016-2018. Anti earned his B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from Western Colorado University in 2016.

Asja Morello - Head Athletic Trainer (2nd Season)

Morello returns to the Mussels in 2024 after serving as the team’s Assistant Athletic Trainer last season. Now in her fifth year in a full-time role with the Twins’ organization, Morello began with Minnesota as an Athletic Training intern in 2017.

Morello was born and raised in Fort Myers, attending Riverdale High School before earning a B.S. in Athletic Training at Florida Gulf Coast University. She completed her Master’s in Sports Performance at the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals.

In 2022, she became the first female staff member in over 30 years of Miracle and Mussels’ history.

*Morgan Leichtenberger - Assistant Athletic Trainer (1st Season) *

Leichtenberger joins the Mighty Mussels after spending the 2023 season with the Florida Complex League Twins. Having previously worked in the Dodgers and Diamondbacks’ organizations, Leichtenberger worked as an athletic trainer and Assistant Athletic Director at Chandler Prep in Arizona from 2020-2022.

Born and raised in Warren, Pennsylvania, Leichtenberger attended Penn State University, where she worked with the school’s baseball, football, gymnastics, wrestling and track and field teams. She graduated with a B.S. in Athletic Training in 2020 before earning her master’s at A.T. Still University in 2022.


Mighty Mussels Opening Day is set for Friday, April 5. View the full schedule here.

Find out how you can WATCH the Mussels for the first time in franchise history here.

Season ticket plans are on sale now at and by calling 239-768-4210.