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12/19/2005 4:58 PM ET
Rockies set Minor League staff for 2006 season
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DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies have finalized their minor league coaching staff for the 2006 campaign, with several changes and additions to the organization.

Entering their first seasons on the Rockies Player Development staff are Field Coordinator Ron Gideon, Infield Coordinator Rich Dauer, Catching Coordinator Marv Foley, and Equipment Manager Jerry Bass.

Gideon, 41, spent the last 10 seasons as a manager in the Rockies system and most recently finished his fourth managerial tour with Short-A Tri-City in 2005, where the team posted a 36-40 record in the Northwest League.

Dauer, 52, is in his first stint in the Rockies farm system after spending the past three seasons as the Milwaukee Brewers bench coach. The former infielder played 10 seasons in the major leagues, all with the Baltimore Orioles.

The 2006 season will mark Foley's fourth year in the Rockies organization. The 52-year-old was promoted after two seasons as manager for Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Joining the Colorado Springs Sky Sox staff is new manager Tom Runnells and pitching coach Chuck Kniffin. Alan Cockrell will return for his fourth season as a Sky Sox coach and Heath Townsend has been promoted from Double-A Tulsa to work as the team's trainer.

Runnells, 50, will begin his third season with the Rockies organization and first with the Sky Sox after managing Double-A Tulsa for the past two seasons. The Greeley, Colorado native led the Drillers to a 75-65 record in 2005, earning the team a spot in the Texas League playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Kniffin, 55, begins his first season in the Rockies organization after spending last year as the pitching coach for Triple-A Syracuse in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system. The Florissant, Colorado resident has 18 years of professional experience as a manager/coach, including three seasons as the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002-04.

Stu Cole was promoted as the Drillers skipper for the 2006 season. Bo McLaughlin will return for his fourth year as Tulsa's pitching coach and former major league infielder Orlando Merced will replace Darren Cox as the new hitting coach. In addition, Austin O'Shea was promoted from Casper to be the team's trainer.

Cole, 39, has spent 10 seasons in the Rockies chain, five as a manager. He spent the last three seasons managing Modesto, Colorado's High Class-A affiliate. The Charlotte, North Carolina native led the Nuts to a 72-67 record in 2005 and guided the team to the California League Northern Division Championship series.

Merced, 39, will begin his first coaching assignment in professional baseball. Over 13 major league seasons he batted .277 with 103 home runs and 585 RBI.

Chad Kreuter, 41, will manage the Modesto Nuts for the 2006 California League season. Pitching coach Butch Hughes and hitting coach Glenallen Hill, will both be returning for their third seasons with the Rockies organization. In addition, Chris Strickland was promoted from Asheville to be the team's trainer.

The 2006 season will mark Kreuter's first coaching experience in professional baseball. The former major league catcher spent last season as the director of baseball operations for the University of Southern California baseball program. He spent 16 seasons in the major leagues and owns a .237 career batting average with 54 home runs and 274 RBI.

Richard Palacios will assist Asheville manager Joe Mikulik and hitting coach Dave Hajek. Also, Chris Dovey was promoted from Tri-City to work as the club's trainer.

Palacios, 30, has spent six years in professional coaching and four with the Rockies Rookie-level affiliate. The Miami, Florida native was the assistant coach and pitching coach for Braddock Sr. High School (Florida) from 1997-1999.

Darron Cox will manage the Tri-City Dust Devils. He will be joined by new pitching coach Doug Linton. Also, Fred Ocasio will retain his coaching duties.

Cox, 38, spent the last three years at Tulsa, where he was the team's hitting coach. His only other managerial experience came in 2002, when he led Colorado's Rookie-level affiliate to a 35-41 overall record.

Linton, 40, will begin his first professional coaching duties. The former major league pitcher played seven seasons in the majors. He went 17-20 with a 5.78 ERA (196 ER, 305.1 IP) in 112 games/35 starts.

New pitching coach and former Rockies player Mark Thompson will assist Casper Rockies manager P.J. Carey. The former big league pitcher was drafted by the Rockies in 1992 and played seven seasons in the majors, five with Colorado. The 34-year-old went 18-24 with a 5.74 ERA (215 ER, 337.0 IP) in 94 games/52 starts. In addition, Tony Diaz will be returning as the clubs hitting coach and Jeremy Spencer will take over the training duties.

2006 Minor League Coaching Staff:

Roving Instructors/Staff
Ron Gideon - Field Coordinator
Jim Wright - Pitching Coordinator
Jim Johnson - Hitting Coordinator
Rich Dauer - Infield Coordinator
Marv Foley - Catching Coordinator
Brian Jordan - Strength and Conditioning Coordinator
Scott Murayama - Rehabilitation Coordinator
Brian Jones - Video Coordinator
Ronn Svetich - Mental Skills Coach
Jerry Bass - Equipment Manager

Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Tom Runnells - Manager
Chuck Kniffin - Pitching Coach
Alan Cockrell - Coach
Heath Townsend - Trainer

Tulsa Drillers
Stu Cole - Manager
Bo McLaughlin - Pitching Coach
Orlando Merced - Coach
Austin O'Shea - Trainer

Asheville Tourists
Joe Mikulik - Manager
Richard Palacios - Pitching Coach
Dave Hajek - Coach
Chris Dovey - Trainer

Modesto Nuts
Chad Kreuter - Manager
Butch Hughes - Pitching Coach
Glenallen Hill- Coach
Chris Strickland - Trainer

Tri-City Dust Devils
Darron Cox - Manager
Doug Linton - Pitching Coach
Fred Ocasio - Coach
TBD - Trainer

Casper Rockies
PJ Carey - Manager
Mark Thompson - Pitching Coach
Tony Diaz - Coach
Jeremy Spencer - Trainer

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