Courtis makes history with Texas front-office post

Former Padres executive named senior director of baseball operations

December 6th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- The Rangers are hiring Michaelene Courtis as senior director of baseball operations, the club announced on Monday, making her the highest-ranking woman in the organization’s history. 

While it’s important for the Rangers to diversify the front-office staff, and Courtis is thankful for the women that came before her that made it possible for her to be in this position, she is focused less on the theoretical glass ceiling being broken and more on the opportunity in front of her. 

“I want to focus on dominating the job that I have, regardless of my gender,” Courtis said. “I know that this is a responsibility that I have, and there are other women I look up to who have paved the way before me. I'm very lucky that they have done so much of the groundwork. I'm lucky that that they did the tough work, and I hope that I can make this easier for the next generation of women, so that they're not being asked so many questions about their gender and merely about their qualifications and their passion for the game.”

Courtis joins the Rangers after 12 years with the San Diego Padres. She spent the last two as director of baseball administration and special assistant to the general manager. She previously served as manager of baseball administration (2018-21) and executive assistant of baseball operations (2015-18) after joining the Padres in the ticket sales department in 2011.

Courtis figures to fill a similar role to her most recent position with the Padres, but she explained it as having to “take the training wheels off” as she takes a more active approach as the senior director. With a background in political science, she’ll focus on contracts, rules and other Major League operations going forward.

“It was a good opportunity for me to expand my skill set and get an opportunity to see something beyond what I've been used to for 12 years in one organization,” Courtis said. “ It's just a different way of looking at baseball, a different way of looking at an organization. I think sometimes if you stay in one place too long, you only see things through one lens. It can get a little bit small and it's a really big game and so the opportunity to learn under a new group was really something that was important to me.”

Rangers general manager Chris Young crossed paths with Courtis in the Padres' organization during his short second stint in San Diego in Spring Training of 2018. Discussions about her joining the Rangers surfaced around the time of the GM Meetings in December, when the two crossed paths once again.

Courtis said it was clear from their discussions in Las Vegas that her values and visions for the organization aligned with Young’s and she felt like it was a perfect opportunity for her to grow with the game outside of San Diego.

“Diversity of opinion and background is unbelievably important to what I believe as a successful organization,” Young said. “It's very important that we not only prioritize it, but continue to do so and we're thrilled to have [Courtis], amongst others, as part of our organization… The most important thing that we're always looking to add really talented people to our organization. I had a previous relationship in terms of working with her as a player and seeing really what she meant and how she impacted the Padres' organization. I felt like I didn't know if there was any possible way she would be interested in leaving San Diego, but also recognized that she could add firepower to our organization.”