November 13, 2007 - Pioneer League (PL) - Idaho Falls Chukars
Idaho Falls - The Kansas City Royals announced today the Minor League coaching staffs for the 2008 season. Jim Gabella was named the new manager of the Chukars, moving to Idaho Falls after spending the last 4 seasons in Burlington, Iowa. Jon Williams was named the new hitting coach, while Jerry Nyman returns for his second season as the Chukars pitching coach.
Before taking over the helm in Burlington, Iowa, Gabella spent 8 seasons as an area scout for the Cleveland Indians. He began his coaching career as the head baseball coach at Broward Community College in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from 1984-1985. From 1985-88, Gabella became an area scout for the Milwaukee Brewers where he signed several future stars such as Derek Thompson, Brain Synder and Gary Sheffield. In 1989, he returned to coaching in the Indians farm system with stops in Burlington, Watertown, Colorado Springs and Canton-Akron. Gabella played in the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners organizations, as well as the Independent Rocky Mount Pines League from 1976-1980. In 1995, Gabella was named the New York-Penn League\'s Manager of the year. He just recently was named the Royals Dick Howser Award winner in 2006.
"We will definitely miss Brian Rupp with everything he as done not only for the Chukars, but with his involvement in our community," said Chukars President/General Manager Kevin Greene. "We wish him nothing but the best in Iowa. However, we couldn\'t be more thrilled than to have an experienced manager in Jim Gabella taking over the helm next season!"
Jon Willams, who just recently joined the Royals organization this year, spent the season as hitting coach for the Burlington Royals. Before starting a career in coaching, Williams spent 6 years as a catcher in the San Francisco and Atlanta organizations. Williams was selected by the Giants in the 44th round of the 2001 draft out of the University of Missouri.
Jerry Nyman will return for his second year as the Chukars Pitching Coach. Entering his 21st year as a professional coach, Nyman spent three years as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Minor League Pitching Coordinator before returning to Eastern Idaho. Prior to his work in Tampa Bay, Nyman was the Pitching Coach in Idaho Falls in 2003. He began his coaching career in 1987 with Salinas; an independent club located in Salinas, California. Shortly after his stint in California, he moved on to coach at Class "A" Welland in the Pittsburgh organization. Nyman made 30 career appearances at the Major League level with the Chicago White Sox (1968-1969) and the San Diego Padres (1970), accumulating a career record of 6-7 with 3 complete games, 2 shutouts, and a 4.57 ERA.
Brian Rupp, who managed the Chukars since 2004, was named the new skipper of the Burlington (IA) Bees; the Midwest League Class "A" affiliate of the Royals. Under Rupp, the Chukars were led to the Pioneer League Playoffs three out of his four years. Former Hitting Coach Patrick Anderson was named to the same position for the Burlington (NC) Royals; the Appalachian League "Rookie Level" affiliate of the Royals.