FRISCO, TEXAS (December 1, 2016) - The Frisco RoughRiders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, announced today, in conjunction with the Rangers, the team's coaching staff for 2017. Returning for his third year at the helm of the RoughRiders is manager Joe Mikulik.
Hitting coach Jason Hart, pitching coach Brian Shouse, and trainer Jacob Newburn also make a return to Frisco for the 2017 season. Wade Lamont, who spent last season with the Class-A Hickory Crawdads, joins the Riders as the lone newcomer and will serve as the club's strength and conditioning coach. Lamont replaces three-time Texas League Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Eric McMahon, who has been promoted to the same position with the staff of the Triple-A Round Rock Express.
The eighth manager in team history, Mikulik is one of the all-time winningest managers in minor league history. Mikulik, who will serve as a minor league manager for the 19th season in 2017, has won over 1,000 games as a manager. Through the 2016 season, he owns a career regular season managerial record of 1,180-1,116 (a .514 winning percentage) and has led his teams to the playoffs five times, posting an 11-12 record in the postseason. He enters his fifth season in the Texas Rangers organization and fourth as a manager in the system, having also led the Class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a Carolina League-best 82-56 record and Mills Cup Finals appearance in 2014. The Texas native joined the Rangers organization prior to the 2013 season and served as the roving minor league outfield instructor for one year.
Prior to his time with the Rangers, Mikulik managed in the Rockies system for 13 seasons with the Class-A Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League, where he left the circuit as the all-time leader in wins as a manager (938), led his team to a South Atlantic League Championship in 2012, captured the league's Manager of the Year Award four times (2000, 2002, 2007, and 2008), and helped over 70 players reach the Major Leagues. He was named to the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame in 2009.
He began his coaching career in the Cleveland organization as a player/coach at Double-A Canton-Akron in 1995 and later managed rookie-level Burlington in 1997 and 1998. He then spent the 1999 season as Houston's minor league baserunning and outfield coordinator.
As a player, Mikulik played his entire career, 11 seasons, in the Astros organization except for 239 games in the Mexican League with the Monclova Acereros, Tabasco Olmecas, and the Mexico City Diablos Rojos. He made all-star teams for the South Atlantic League (1985), Mexican League (1989), and Texas League (1991). Mikulik played college baseball at San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas, where he was an All-American.
A native of Weimer, Texas, Mikulik now makes his offseason home in nearby Keller, Texas.
Hart begins his sixth season as the Riders hitting coach and his ninth as a minor league instructor. A former RoughRiders player, Hart played five seasons in the Rangers organization, including one in Frisco in 2005 when he led the team with 28 doubles, 21 home runs, and 77 RBI. Hart made his only appearance in the majors in 2002, playing in ten games for the Rangers.
Shouse is in his sixth season in the Texas organization and second with Frisco. The former big league southpaw rejoined the organization prior to the 2012 campaign and worked with the Rookie AZL Rangers pitchers each of his first four seasons with Texas. As a player, Shouse appeared in 467 major league games with six teams from 1993-2009, mostly as a reliever, compiling a record of 13-10 and a 3.72 ERA. He was with the Rangers from 2003-06, working in 185 games, and also pitched for Pittsburgh (1993), Boston (1998), Kansas City (2002), Milwaukee (2006-08), and Tampa Bay (2009). An Illinois native, Shouse graduated from Bradley University, where he is a member of the Bradley Hall of Fame.
Newburn, a native of Richardson, Texas, begins his 12th season as a trainer in the Texas organization and second at the Double-A level. Before joining the RoughRiders last season, Newburn spent the previous two seasons as the Class A-Advanced level with Myrtle Beach and High Desert. Prior to joining the Rangers organization in 2006, Newburn worked as a graduate intern in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas athletic department. He also interned with the RoughRiders during the club's inaugural 2003 season. Newburn graduated from Berkner High School in Richardson in 2000.
Lamont joins the RoughRiders from the Class-A Hickory Crawdads where he spent each of the last four seasons. The 2017 season will mark his sixth year overall in the organization after he was originally hired in the same capacity for the AZL Rangers in 2012. He was selected in the 29th round of the 2007 June Draft by the Detroit Tigers and spent three seasons in the Tigers farm system as a player.
The 2017 Frisco RoughRiders season begins on April 6, when the RoughRiders host the Springfield Cardinals at Dr Pepper Ballpark. For all 2017 ticketing information, including tickets for the Choctaw Lazy River and ticket packages for the 2017 Texas League All-Star Game at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Tuesday, June 27, fans can visit RidersBaseball.com, email email@example.com, call (972) 731-9200, or stop by in-person to the RoughRiders Ticket Office.
About the RoughRiders
The Frisco RoughRiders are the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers and play their games at beautiful Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The team was founded in 2003 and has finished first among all Double-A franchises in attendance in each of the last 12 seasons (2005-2016). In August 2014, the RoughRiders were purchased by an ownership group led by Chuck Greenberg and Scott Sonju. The new ownership group, together with the city of Frisco, has spearheaded numerous major franchise improvements over the past two seasons, investing over $7 million in wide array of facility upgrades and improvements, including the new state-of-the-art HD video board, sound system, Bull Moose Saloon, InTouch Grille, Riders Outpost Team Store, and the newest and biggest creation, the 174-foot Choctaw Lazy River. The improvements made prior to the 2015 season earned the Riders and the City of Frisco "Best Ballpark Renovation" of 2015 by Ballpark Digest. More than 140 former RoughRiders players have gone on to play Major League Baseball, including All-Stars Chris Davis, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Gonzalez, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, and C.J. Wilson as well as current Rangers stars Derek Holland, Rougned Odor, and Mitch Moreland. For more information on the Frisco RoughRiders and Dr Pepper Ballpark, please visit RidersBaseball.com or contact Nathan Barnett at (972) 334-1976 or via e-mail at Nathan@RidersBaseball.com.