December 12, 2006 - California League (CalL) - Lancaster JetHawks
(LANCASTER, CA) - Chad Epperson will be the manager of the Lancaster JetHawks for the 2007 season, the first JetHawks manager of the club\'s new partnership with the Boston Red Sox. Epperson has three years of managerial experience with the Red Sox organization, all at the Class-A level. Former big-league pitcher Bob Kipper will serve as the pitching coach with veteran hitting coach Dave Joppie as the third member of the coaching staff. Jon Jochim will serve as the JetHawks trainer in 2006.
In 2006 Epperson guided the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Boston\'s High-A affiliate, to the best record in the Carolina League\'s Northern Division at 67-71. Epperson\'s squad won the first half title and advanced to the opening round of the Carolina League playoffs, where they lost to Frederick. He has a career record of 205-210 in his three seasons managing Red Sox farm teams. Before becoming a manager, he spent two years as a hitting coach in the Boston organization. Epperson, who will turn 35 shortly before the start of the 2007 campaign, played nine seasons of Minor League baseball. A switch-hitting catcher, Epperson spent time in the Mets, Red Sox, and Orioles farm systems, as well as independent ball, advancing as high as Double-A. Epperson is a native of Louisville, Kentucky and now resides in Cape Coral, Florida with his wife and two children.
2007 JetHawks pitching coach Bob Kipper pitched for eight seasons at the Major League level before beginning his coaching career. A first-round draft pick of the California Angels in 1982, Kipper was the California League Player of the Year pitching for Redwood in 1984. Kipper made his big-league debut with the Angels in 1985, then was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where the left-hander pitched for seven seasons. After pitching in the playoffs for the Pirates in 1991, Kipper finished his playing career in 1992 with the Minnesota Twins. A coach since 1995, the 42 year-old has been a part of the Red Sox major league coaching staff, as well as serving as a minor league pitching coach at several levels of the Red Sox farm system. He was the pitching coach for Low-A Greenville in 2006. Born in Aurora, Illinois, Kipper, his wife, and two daughters live in Greer, South Carolina.
Dave Joppie is a veteran minor league coach with eleven years coaching experience in the Red Sox and Oakland Athletics farm systems. Joppie was the Midwest League Manager of the Year and was named as Baseball America\'s Class Low-A Minor League Manager of the Year when he guided the Kane County Cougars in 2004. With several years of managerial experience, Joppie has also been a hitting coach at several levels of the minors, including a stint in the California League as a coach with Visalia in 2000. Joppie spent the 2006 campaign coaching with Epperson at High-A Wilmington. The 41-year-old lives with his wife and son in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Trainer Jon Jochim has a varied background in sports training. Jochim has spent the last three seasons as a trainer for the Red Sox short-season and rookie-league clubs. Prior to that, Jochim was a trainer for the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.