Kevin Randel Returns To Lead 2024 Blue Wahoos Coaching Staff

March 28, 2024

The Miami Marlins and Pensacola Blue Wahoos announced Wednesday that reigning Southern League Manager of the Year Kevin Randel will return for a fourth season as Pensacola’s manager in 2024 after leading the team to their best regular season winning percentage in team history in 2023. Randel’s coaching staff will include returning defensive coach Danny Black (secondnd season) and video coordinator Clay Metzger (thirrd season), as well as new pitching coach Jerad Eickhoff, hitting coach Jason Krizan, strength and conditioning coach Brandon Remalia, athletic trainer Shelby Perry, player development analyst fellow Shbieb Dabaja and coaching fellow Renny Tolentino.

“It’s great to be back in Pensacola for a fourth season,” Randel said. “The connections I’ve built with the staff, fans and community make this a great place to play, and I’m proud of the winning culture we have developed these past few years.”

Randel previously led the Blue Wahoos to a winning 57-54 record in 2021, his first year with the team, before guiding Pensacola to a Southern League championship in 2022. With Randel at the helm in 2023, the Blue Wahoos went 79-57 and returned to the Southern League Championship Series. 18 Pensacola players managed by Randel have made their Major League debuts, and his 204 managerial wins trail only Pat Kelly (218 wins from 2015-17) for the most in franchise history.

Following an eight-season playing career as an infielder in the Marlins system, Randel began his managerial career in the Marlins organization in 2015, leading the Class-A Greensboro Grasshoppers for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Randel went on to lead the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads for two years before making the move to Double-A Jacksonville in 2019.

Eickhoff joins the Blue Wahoos for his first season after a seven-year MLB career that included time with the Philadelphia Phillies (2015-19), New York Mets (2021) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2022). Selected in the 15th round of the 2011 Draft by the Texas Rangers out of Olney Central College (IL), Eickhoff was traded to the Phillies in 2015. He also spent time in the Padres and Guardians organizations, finishing his career with Triple-A Columbus in 2023.

Krizan joins the Blue Wahoos for his first season after spending 2023 as the hitting coach for High-A Winston-Salem in the Chicago White Sox organization. He was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 8th round of the 2011 Draft out of Dallas Baptist University, where he was a First-Team All-American in his senior season. After an 11-year minor league career in the Tigers, Mets and Giants organizations, he made his MLB debut for San Francisco in 2022.

Black, returning to the Blue Wahoos for his second season, played six seasons in the Marlins minor league system from 2010 to 2015, including parts of four seasons for Double-A Jacksonville in the Southern League and parts of two seasons with Triple-A New Orleans. He began his coaching career in 2018 and has served in various roles since, including as an assistant coach for Advanced-A Jupiter from 2018-2019 and as a defensive coach for Triple-A Jacksonville in 2021 and the FCL Marlins in 2022.

Perry joins the Blue Wahoos as athletic trainer after serving in the same role for High-A Beloit in 2023 and the FCL Marlins in 2022. Remalia is in his fourth season as a strength and conditioning coach in the Marlins organization after working for Class-A Jupiter in 2021 and 2022, followed by High-A Beloit in 2023. Metzger is in his third season with the Marlins and Blue Wahoos after spending the 2021 season in a video and information role with the Atlanta Braves.

The Blue Wahoos will host the Mexican League’s Sultanes de Monterrey in an exhibition series April 2 and 3, with Opening Day of the 2024 Southern League season coming Friday, April 5 at home against the Mississippi Braves.

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