Tigers announce three additions to Major League coaching staff

November 7th, 2020

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced three additions to the Major League coaching staff:

  • George Lombard as Bench Coach
  • Scott Coolbaugh as Hitting Coach
  • Chip Hale as Third Base Coach

“We’re thrilled to add these experienced baseball men who bring a diverse range of expertise to our Major League staff,” said Al Avila, Detroit Tigers Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. “Each of them has worked with high-level talent in their careers and have a track record of cultivating winning players. I’d like to commend A.J. and our baseball operations staff for bringing together a group of coaches that I believe will get the most from our players in 2021 and seasons to come.”

“Adding coaches with high levels of experience both developing teams and leading in the postseason is important as we establish a culture for winning baseball here in Detroit,” said Tigers Manager A.J. Hinch. “I’m confident these three additions will complement what’s already a strong coaching staff, and we’re excited to begin working with the players soon.”

 Lombard, 45, joins the Tigers after spending the previous five seasons as the First Base Coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers, including helping the franchise to a World Series Championship last season – its first since 1988. With the Dodgers, the Atlanta, GA native also coached the outfielders and baserunning, where he aided in the development of numerous elite players. Prior to his time with the Dodgers, Lombard spent one season coaching with Atlanta (2015) and six with Boston (2010-15). The former outfielder was a second-round pick of the Braves in the 1994 MLB Draft, and played six seasons in the Majors between the Braves (1998-2000), Tigers (2002), Devil Rays (2003) and Nationals (2006), combining to bat .220/.281/.340 in 144 career games. On a personal note, Lombard and his wife, Judy, have two children, George and Jacob.

Moving across the American League Central from his previous role as Assistant Hitting Coach with the Chicago White Sox, Coolbaugh joins the Tigers as Hitting Coach. The 56-year-old has over 20 years of experience as a professional hitting coach, including most recently with Triple A Oklahoma City (2019) and Baltimore (2015-18). Leading up to those posts he spent eight seasons with Texas (2007-14), including two as the Major League Hitting Coach (2011-12). During his coaching career, the Binghamton, NY native also managed four seasons in the Minor Leagues, posting a combined 224-333 record. Drafted in the third round of the 1987 MLB Draft out of the University of Texas, Coolbaugh appeared in 167 career Major League games with Texas (1989-90), San Diego (1991) and St. Louis (1994), hitting .215/.281/.310 with eight home runs and 41 RBI.

After three seasons with Washington, including serving as the Bench Coach for the team’s World Series title run in 2019, Hale joins the Tigers as Third Base Coach. One of the most experienced coaches in baseball who has served in a variety of roles within clubhouses during his 34 seasons in professional baseball, Hale, 55, has been a manager at the Major and Minor League levels for a combined eight seasons, including two leading the clubhouse of the Arizona Diamondbacks (2015-16). Additional recent posts include Third Base Coach (2017) and Bench Coach (2012-14) in Oakland and Third Base Coach (2010-11) for New York (NL). From 2007-09, Hale played a prominent role as Third Base Coach and infield instructor for the Arizona Diamondbacks, including the club’s 2007 National League West Division championship run. Prior to his Major League coaching roles, Hale spent six seasons as a manager in Arizona’s Minor League system.

As a player, Hale spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues with Minnesota and Los Angeles (NL), batting .277/.346/.363 with seven home runs and 78 RBI. The San Jose, CA native attended the University of Arizona where he started every game of his collegiate career, setting a record that would not be broken until 2001, and established school career marks for most hits and walks. He batted .345 for the 1986 Wildcat team that won the College World Series and was drafted in the 17th round of the 1987 MLB Draft by Minnesota. Hale and his wife, Judith, have three children, and make their residence in Tucson, AZ.

The Tigers coaching staff as it stands is listed below.

  • Manager – A.J. Hinch
  • Bench Coach – George Lombard
  • Hitting Coach – Scott Coolbaugh
  • Pitching Coach – Chris Fetter
  • Assistant Pitching Coach – Juan Nieves
  • First Base Coach – Ramon Santiago
  • Third Base Coach – Chip Hale
  • Quality Control Coach – Josh Paul