Kingsport Axmen unveil 2024 coaching staff

Kingsport 2024 Coaching Announcement

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Kingsport Axmen have announced their coaching staff for the 2024 Appalachian League season. The team will be led by new manager Rick Adair, a former Major League pitching coach.

After playing college baseball at Western Carolina, Adair was drafted in the third round of the 1979 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners. He played seven seasons in the Minor Leagues, reaching as high as Triple-A in 1983. After he retired from playing, Adair worked as a pitching coach and Minor League hitting instructor in the farm systems for the Cleveland Guardians, San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers. In the Major Leagues, he served as pitching coach for the Tigers from 1996-99, Mariners from 2009-10 and Baltimore Orioles from 2011-13 after a brief stint as the Orioles' bullpen coach to start 2011.

Josh Lucas will serve as the Axmen's hitting coach. Lucas was a 2010 21st-round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals out of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. The right-handed pitcher reached the Major Leagues in 2017 with the St. Louis Cardinals, and had stints with the Oakland Athletics in 2018 and Orioles in 2019. Lucas played for Winnipeg in the American Association in 2020, and went back to affiliated ball with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2021. After further stints in independent league ball, including with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League, Lucas hung up his cleats this year.

Tyrelle Harris is in his third year as bench coach for the Kingsport Axmen. He spent two years playing for the University of Tennessee, and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2009. Harris played 13 years professionally in the Braves and Chicago Cubs organizations as well as in Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand and France.

David Newhan is in his first season as the Axmen hitting coach. Newhan played 10 seasons in MLB for five different teams, spanning from 1999-2008. He played for the Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, Orioles and New York Mets before retiring after a stint with the Houston Astros. In his career, Newhan had a .253 batting average, 23 home runs and 120 RBI. In his coaching career, Newhan was the assistant hitting coach for the Tigers from 2014-16. He later became the Los Angeles Angels Minor League infield coordinator, and then served as manager for the Mobile Bay Bears in 2019. In 2020, Newhan was hitting coach for the Altoona Curve, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Double-A affiliate.

Brandon Harrist will be the team’s trainer for the 2024 season. He retired from the Air Force in 2019 where he worked as an aircraft electrical and environmental systems specialist on the C-5 and F-16. He graduated from Texas A&M-San Antonio with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science Pre-PT. Harrist received his Master's degree in Athletic Training from the University of the Incarnate Word, also in San Antonio. Since 2023, he has been working at Our Lady of the Lake University, where he is the baseball and men’s soccer athletic trainer.

Additional information about the Axmen can be found at or by calling (423) 224-2626.


Kingsport Axmen is operated by Boyd Sports, LLC. Boyd Sports operates five teams in the East Tennessee region and is committed to growth of baseball and providing fun and affordable family entertainment.