The Detroit Tigers today named Brad Ausmus as the 37th manager in franchise history, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract that includes a club option for 2017.
A former Major League catcher for 18 seasons, Ausmus, 44, succeeds Jim Leyland who announced his retirement on October 21st after eight seasons at the helm. Gene Lamont, who originally joined Leyland's staff as the club's third base coach on October 11, 2005, agreed to a two-year contract as bench coach for Ausmus' staff. It will mark his second season as Tigers bench coach and his 50th season in professional baseball.
"I couldn't be more excited to manage the Detroit Tigers," said new Tigers manager, Brad Ausmus. "It's not very often that you get the opportunity to manage a team that went to the American League Championship the previous year. There is a lot of work to be done by Spring Training and no details will be glossed over. Our goal is to hopefully return to the ALCS and then take the next step."
"We are thrilled to introduce Brad Ausmus as the new manager of the Detroit Tigers," said Tigers President, CEO and General Manager David Dombrowski. "After a great deal of research and conversation, we felt Brad was the best fit for our ballclub. We received positive feedback on Brad from players, managers and baseball executives. Brad had a long-standing career as a player and we feel that he will relate well with the current players. We were most impressed with Brad's preparation and leadership, which are among his many quality attributes. We are confident Brad is the right person to lead our team and continue the recent success of the Tigers organization."
"I've known Brad since my time coaching with the Astros in 2002," said Tigers bench coach Gene Lamont. "He is not only a good baseball mind but a very smart baseball mind. I really wanted to stay in Detroit so I'm thrilled that I'll be able to help Brad as his bench coach. We have a good team with the Tigers and I am confident that Brad will continue that success."
Ausmus was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in 1987 and played in their minor league system while attending Dartmouth College. He was then drafted by the Colorado Rockies from the New York Yankees in the 1992 expansion draft and later traded to the San Diego Padres where he made his major league debut on July 28, 1993. He played parts of 18 seasons in the majors with the Padres (1993-96), Detroit Tigers (1996, 1999-2000), Houston Astros (1997-98, 2001-2007) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2009-10).
Over his 18-year playing career, Ausmus hit .251 (1579x6279) with 80 home runs, 270 doubles, 34 triples, 607 RBI, 718 runs scored and 102 stolen bases in 1,971 games played. He is the winner of three Gold Gloves (2001, 2002, 2006) and was selected an All-Star with the Tigers in 1999. With the majority of his playing career with the Astros, Ausmus is the all-time Astros leader among catchers in games played (1,259), hits (970) and runs scored (415).
He spent the last three seasons (2011-2013) in the role of Special Assistant, Baseball Operations, with the San Diego Padres. Additionally, he managed Team Israel for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
A native of New Haven, Connecticut, Ausmus and his wife, Liz, reside in San Diego with their two daughters, Sophie (15) and Abigail (14). He will wear jersey #7 with the Tigers.