Joins 2019-22 Bulls skipper Brady Williams on Rays manager & former Bulls catcher Kevin Cash’s staff
The Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday announced that 2023 Durham Bulls manager Michael Johns has been named the club’s First Base Coach for the upcoming 2024 campaign. Johns joins former Bulls catcher and current Tampa Bay skipper Kevin Cash‘s staff one year after 2019-22 Bulls manager Brady Williams was tabbed Tampa Bay’s Third Base Coach.
In his lone season with Durham, Johns led the Bulls to an 88-62 record, which included a Second Half International League Division title and an appearance in the International League Championship Series after tallying a 48-27 mark in the second half of the season. Those 88 victories were the second-highest total in the International League behind only Norfolk (90-59), as well as tied for fourth-most among all 120 minor league clubs.
Prior to joining the Bulls, Johns served as Minor League Field Coordinator for the Rays. 2023 marked his ninth season as a minor league manager, previously leading the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs (2015-17), Low-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2014), Single-A Hudson Valley Renegades (2013), and Short-Season Princeton Rays (2010-12), winning the Florida State League title in his first year with Charlotte in 2015. Overall in those nine managerial seasons, Johns accumulated a 488-484 record.
Johns becomes the latest member of the Tampa Bay Rays coaching staff with Durham ties, in addition to 2004-06 catcher Kevin Cash (Manager), 2019-22 manager Brady Williams (First Base Coach), 2003 outfielder Chad Mottola (Hitting Coach), and 2018-19 pitching coach Rick Knapp (Assistant Pitching and Rehab Coach). Cash is also one of five current Major League managers who have worn a Bulls jersey, joined by Brian Snitker (Atlanta), Rocco Baldelli (Minnesota), Matt Quatraro (Kansas City) and Stephen Vogt (Cleveland).
The Bulls begin the 2024 campaign on the road in Norfolk against the Norfolk Tides on Friday, March 29 before Opening Night 2024 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday, April 2 to start a six-game series versus the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins.
Single-game tickets for the 2024 season will go on sale on a later date. For more information on 919 Club Membership Packages, please call the Durham Bulls Ticket Department at 919-956-BULL.
Thanks to DBBC’s Andrew Green for this CapCom story & graphic.