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Durham Bulls Announce New Manager, 2024 Coaching Staff

January 23, 2024 - International League (IL)
Durham Bulls News Release


Durham, NC - The four-time Triple-A National Champion Durham Bulls, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays, have announced their field staff for the 2024 International League season.

After spending four playoff-bound seasons as the manager of the Rays' Double-A affiliate Montgomery Biscuits, Morgan Ensberg will take the reins for the first time at the Triple-A level, succeeding Michael Johns. Johns was promoted to first base coach with Tampa Bay during the off-season after his lone season as Bulls manager, leading the Bulls to within one win of a third-straight International League title and an 88-62 regular season mark.

Ensberg, 48, spent portions of eight seasons in the majors, primarily with the Houston Astros, where he was a National League All-Star in 2005, hitting a career-high 36 home runs, playing alongside Hall Of Famers Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.

"We're excited to welcome an accomplished manager in Morgan Ensberg to the Bulls," said Bulls GM Tyler Parsons. "He brings a wealth of experience, both on the coaching side and as a former player. We have a tremendous legacy of winning and player development here in Durham, and we know Morgan will be up to the challenge."

Over his four-year managerial career with the Biscuits, Ensberg compiled a record of 300-224, reaching the Southern League playoffs each season, including a Southern League Championship appearance in 2021.

"The season can't get here soon enough. I've heard great things about the fans, the park, and the city," said Ensberg. "We have incredible players. I love watching them play."

Brian Reith returns to Durham for his third year as pitching coach. His pitching staff finished 3rd in the International League in ERA (4.56) and 2nd in fewest walks per game (3.9). Reith assisted rookies Taj Bradley and Jacob Lopez to the major leagues for the first time, two of 29 current or former major league pitchers to wear a Durham uniform in 2023.

Hitting coach Kenny Hook will also return to the Bulls for his second season as hitting coach. Hook's Bulls offense finished 5th in the league in batting average (.252), 2nd in slugging percentage (.469), 3rd in OPS (.828), 3rd in runs/game (5.9) and slugged a franchise record 225 home runs.

Reinaldo Ruiz continues his time on the coaching staff for the Bulls, returning as bench coach for his fourth season.

Two new additions to the Bulls' coaching staff include assistant hitting coach Tyler Ladendorf and bullpen coach Brett Ebers. Ladendorf played part of three seasons in the major leagues, including a career-high 44 games with Oakland in 2016. Ladendorf spent the final 2 1/2 months of the 2019 season playing for the Durham Bulls.

Kris Russell and Tsutomu Kamiya return as Durham's two athletic trainers. Steve Chase also returns as the strength & conditioning coach. Riley Welch joins the Bulls as a strength and conditioning coach/baseball performance science, while Matthew Bennett also comes back to Durham as the process and integration coach. Home clubhouse manager Pat Phelan returns for his 7th year with the Bulls.

"It's always great to see familiar faces coming back on the staff," added Parsons. "We loved having Kenny, Brian, Rei, Steve, Kris, TK and Pat here last year and are looking forward to welcoming the new additions in Tyler Ladendorf and Brett Elbers to Durham."

The Bulls open the 2024 season against the reigning Triple-A National Champion Norfolk Tides at Harbor Park on March 29th, with the Bulls home opener at the DBAP slated for Tuesday, April 2nd against Jacksonville. For suites, groups and both season and individual ticket information, consult www.durhambulls.com.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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