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Sounds Manager Rick Sweet Named Mike Coolbaugh Award Winner

December 6, 2022 - International League (IL)
Nashville Sounds News Release


SAN DIEGO - Minor League Baseball announced today Rick Sweet has been named the recipient of the Mike Coolbaugh Award. The award is presented annually to a Minor League Baseball figure who has shown an outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field.

The award was developed to honor Mike Coolbaugh, who tragically died after being struck by a foul ball while coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers, during a minor league game in 2007. It has been awarded every year at the Baseball Winter Meetings since 2008.

"I am incredibly honored and humbled to receive the Mike Coolbaugh Award," said Sweet. "It is a true blessing to be amongst such a distinguished group of baseball professionals and I can't thank Minor League Baseball enough. There is no higher honor to receive an award based on work ethic, knowledge of the game and mentoring young players. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my family and the hundreds of players and staff that have worked tirelessly beside me throughout my career."

Sweet, 70, completed his third season overall (second consecutive) as the Sounds manager in 2022. It was his ninth year managing in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. In three seasons at the helm for Nashville (2014, 2021-22), Sweet has compiled a 238-183 record.

In 32 years as a minor league manager, Sweet has a 2,192-2,038 (.518) record. His 2,192 wins are the second-most among active minor league managers, behind only Myrtle Beach's Buddy Bailey (2,282), and fifth-most all time in Minor League Baseball history.

The 2022 season was one of the best in Nashville franchise history with Sweet as the skipper. He led the Sounds to 91 wins, the second-most in team history and the only team in Minor League Baseball to surpass 90 wins. Following the season, Sweet was named International League Manager of the Year by Minor League Baseball. In 2021, Sweet guided Nashville to a 70-58 mark.

Sweet managed the Sounds to a 77-67 record in 2014, narrowly missing the playoffs by 2.5 games. He managed the Colorado Springs Sky Sox from 2015-18 and San Antonio Missions in 2019. Sweet was expected to manage the Missions in 2020 prior to the Minor League Baseball season being canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to joining the Brewers, Sweet spent the previous nine seasons in the Cincinnati Reds organization as manager of Triple-A Louisville (2005-11) and as the Reds catching coordinator (2012-13).

During Sweet's stint in Louisville, he became the franchise's all-time winningest manager with a 539-465 (.537) record. His Bats won three consecutive International League West Division championships from 2008-10.

Sweet previously managed in the minors with the Seattle Mariners (1987-88), Houston Astros (1989-95), New York Mets (1997), Montreal Expos (1998, 2000), San Diego Padres (2001-03), Detroit Tigers (2004) and Cincinnati (2005-11). He was the first base coach for the Astros in 1996 and Field Coordinator for the Expos from 1999-2000.

In addition to his 2022 International League Manager of the Year award, Sweet has also been named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year in 1994, International League Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and Baseball America's Triple-A Manager of the Year in 2010.

Sweet has managed in the Triple-A All-Star Game three times. He was the skipper for the Pacific Coast League in 1993 and 2003, and for the International League in 2009. He and Dave Miley are the only two people to manage three different teams in the Triple-A All-Star Game.

A former catcher, Sweet had a nine-year playing career (1975-83), including time in the big leagues with San Diego (1978), New York-NL (1982) and Seattle (1982-83). He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 31st round of the 1974 amateur draft but did not sign, and by the San Diego Padres in the 3rd round of the 1975 amateur draft. He attended and played college baseball at Gonzaga University from 1973-75.

Former Sounds Manager Mike Guerrero (2012-13) was the 2013 recipient of the Mike Coolbaugh Award.

The Nashville Sounds are the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers and play at First Horizon Park. The 2023 season begins at home on Friday, March 31 against the Louisville Bats. Season ticket memberships are available now. For more information call 615-690-4487 or e-mail tickets@nashvillesounds.com.


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