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Crawdads 2022 Coaching Staff Revealed

January 10, 2022 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Hickory Crawdads News Release


Hickory, NC - The 2022 Crawdads coaching staff was announced Monday by the Texas Rangers. Carlos Cardoza was named as the 'Dads new manager, becoming the 19th manager in franchise history.

Rounding out the staff are Pitching Coach Jon Goebel, Hitting Coach Ryan Tuntland, Coach Jay Sullenger, Coach Kawika Emsley-Pai, Athletic Trainer Derrick Decker, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Andy Earp.

Cardoza arrives in Hickory for his seventh season managing a Rangers affiliate. His teams across his six seasons as manager have accumulated a 246-119 record for a .673 winning percentage. He was at the helm of the 72-48 Down East Wood Ducks, who reached the playoffs, last season. Cardoza was originally slated to manage the 'Dads in 2020 but instead ended up coordinating and managing a camp of prospects in the Fall Developmental League. He spent the 2019 season with the Arizona Rangers, helping to lead the team to a league title. Prior to his stint in Arizona, Cardoza managed the Dominican Summer League Rangers from 2016-18 where his teams went 141-71. The Puerto Rico native was hired by the Rangers following two years as the head coach at his alma mater, Decatur HS in Georgia. Cardoza played two years at Georgia State and two years at Armstrong Atlantic State, where he was a gold glove second baseman and All-Peach Belt Conference choice. He also played a year of professional baseball in the Puerto Rican Federation League.

Goebel joins the Crawdads staff after a lengthy tenure at Parkland College. He spent three seasons managing the baseball program there and four seasons as their pitching coach. As a head coach, he helped 25 players get drafted or go to a 4-year university. During his time as a pitching coach, his staff led the nation in strikeouts for three years and earned run average and batting average against in two seasons. He also sent 21 pitchers to the draft or a Division I program as a pitching coach.

Tuntland served as a hitting coach with the Arizona Rangers in 2021, his first year in the organization. He previously was the Director of Hitting Development for Ohio University. His other collegiate experience includes Oakton Community College (2017-18), the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (2017) and his alma mater, West Virginia University (2016-2017).

Sullenger enters his third season with the Texas organization. He was originally slated to serve as a coach for the 'Dads in 2020 but with the season's cancellation he coached in the Fall Developmental League. In 2021, he managed the Arizona Rangers. Prior to joining the organization, he headed up the Biola University (a NCAA Division II school in La Mirada, CA) baseball program for six seasons. He attended Liberty University, reaching the NCAA regional finals three times as a member of their baseball team. Following college, he spent a year with the Tampa Bay Rays working with their facility and event management department. He then joined the coaching staff at James Madison University, spending eleven seasons in various coaching roles.

Emsley-Pai joined the Rangers last May, serving as a coach with the Triple-A Round Rock Express. The former University of Texas catcher also spent three years as the head coach of Centralia College. Emsley-Pai spent six seasons in the Minor Leagues, catching in the Pirates system.

Decker enters his fifth season with the Rangers and his first with the Crawdads. He was the Athletic Trainer for Down East in 2021. In 2020, Decker worked with the medical staff at the Alternate Training Sire in Arlington after he had been slated to return as the Rookie-level AZL Rangers athletic trainer. While working with the Rookie Rangers in 2019, he was named the circuit's Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS). Decker began his tenure with the organization in 2018 as an athletic trainer for the Dominican Summer League Rangers.

Earp will join the Crawdads for his first season in Hickory. He spent last year as the strength and conditioning coach for Down East. Like Cardoza and Sullenger, Earp was scheduled to be a part of the 'Dads staff in 2020 but ended up on the coaching staff for the Fall Developmental League. He was a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2017-19 and an assistant on the strength staff at Wilkes University from 2016-17. He holds an undergrad degree in exercise science from App State and earned master's degrees in Athletic Leadership from Clemson and Kinesiology from Augusta University.

The Crawdads will open their season on Tuesday, April 12th. Season tickets and ticket books are on sale now. For more information, please call 828-322-3000.


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