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11/05/2007 9:15 AM ET
John Russell named manager of the Pirates
Press conference to be held at PNC Park at 11 a.m. ET
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The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that John Russell has been hired as the 38th manager in team history. The announcement was made by senior vice president and general manager Neal Huntington.

Russell, 46, spent the last two seasons as the Triple-A manager in the Philadelphia organization. He was named the International League Manager of the Year after guiding Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to the Northern Division title in 2006. Russell, who served as manager at the 2007 International League All-Star Game, managed Ottawa last season.

"John is absolutely the best choice to lead our ballclub," Huntington said. "His positive energy, intense passion for the game and strong managerial experience set him apart from every other potential candidate we considered. John has been extremely successful getting the most out of his young players in his 10-plus years of managing. He is a great teacher of the game, an exhaustive communicator and tireless worker. He will ensure that our players continue to improve at the Major League level and play the game with the pride and passion of Pirates baseball."

After retiring as a player, Russell spent eight years (1995-2002) as a Minor League manager in the Minnesota organization. He was named 2002 Minor League Manager of the Year and "Best Managerial Prospect" by Baseball America when his Edmonton club captured the Pacific Coast League crown. In addition, Russell was tabbed as the Eastern League's "Top Managerial Prospect" by Baseball America after guiding his New Britain club to a first-place finish in 1998. In addition to his Minor League managing career, Russell managed the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League in 2002 and was with the Peoria club this year. Russell also managed in Venezuela during the 2006 offseason and led the Maracaibo team to the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Russell's Minor League Managerial Record
Year
Club
Won
Lost
PCT.
Finish
1995Elizabethton3331.5162nd
1996Fort Myers7958.5774th/2nd
1997Fort Myers8158.5833rd/2nd
1998New Britain8359.5851st
1999New Britain5982.4185th
2000New Britain5191.3596th
2001Edmonton6083.4204th
2002Edmonton8159.5791st
2006Scranton/WB8458.5921st
2007Ottawa5588.3856th
Totals666667.499

"I am proud to be the new manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates," Russell said. "I felt this was an ideal opportunity for me. It was very clear to me that the new leadership of this organization shares a vision of excellence and has made a commitment to build a winning organization. It is my responsibility to restore the culture of pride and passion in the clubhouse. We will not be outworked or out-prepared. We will now assemble a team of coaches who are energetic and enthusiastic teachers. As a staff, our teaching will not end when a player makes it to the Major Leagues or when the Major League club heads north after Spring Training."

This will be Russell's second tour of duty with the Pirates, as he served as the club's third-base coach and Major League catching instructor for three seasons (2003-05).

"Having coached here before is an advantage in the sense that I understand the challenges we face. I also understand the passion and energy of Pirates fans," said Russell. "The club has changed a lot since I was here in 2005. I am excited by the many talented, young players who have joined the club since 2005. With proper preparation and dedication, I believe we can restore a winning culture within our clubhouse."

Originally selected by the Phillies in the first round of the 1982 First-Year Player Draft, the former catcher made his Major League debut in 1984. He played in a total of 448 big league games with Philadelphia (1984-88), Atlanta (1988) and Texas (1990-93). Russell caught Nolan Ryan's sixth career no-hitter on June 11, 1990.

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