With a new baseball season less than two months away, the Pulaski River Turtles are unveiling the on-field staff that will lead the team’s 2023 Appalachian League campaign.
Staff members joining third-year manager Clark Crist include third-year hitting coach Roger Hill, with pitching coach Chris Monroe and former MLB pro Tommy Gregg set to debut with the River Turtles this season.
Having notched a pair of top-two finishes in the Appalachian League East division in his first two seasons of competition as the manager of the Pulaski franchise, Crist is returning for his third season at the helm of the River Turtles. The Tucson, Ariz., native’s playing career included a collegiate National Championship as the starting shortstop for the 1980 University of Arizona team. Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 14th round of the 1980 MLB June Amateur Draft, Crist spent four seasons in Minor League Baseball, eventually serving as a player-coach for the Mariners' Double-A affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts, from 1982-85.
Crist’s Major League tenure included scouting roles for the Houston Astros (1985-92), Boston Red Sox (1992-94), Cleveland Indians (1994-95), New York Mets (1995-97), St. Louis Cardinals (1997-2006) and the Cincinnati Reds (2006-15). Crist oversaw the signing of many notable names during his career as an MLB scout, including All-Stars Kenny Lofton and Albert Pujols, Covelli “Coco” Crisp, Mike Leake, Tommy Pham, Chris Duncan and Amir Garrett.
Veteran River Turtles hitting coach Roger Hill is in his second season as the head coach of the West Los Angeles College baseball team; he had been an assistant coach for the Wildcats since 2014. Hill previously coached at Compton Community College and Washington Preparatory High School in California, as well as two seasons in the Cleveland Indians minor league system. As a player, Hill played two seasons at West Los Angeles College before earning a scholarship to the University of Nebraska, where he played two seasons. Hill was drafted in the 14th round of the 1982 MLB Draft by the Mariners and played five professional seasons.
Chris Monroe joins the Pulaski River Turtles after completing his first season as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Saint Anselm College. Monroe began his coaching career at Framingham State in 2015 after pitching for the Rams. Following his stint at his alma mater he went on to be a volunteer assistant coach at Western Illinois in 2021 and an assistant coach at Spoon River College in 2022. Monroe has prior experience coaching summer collegiate ball in the Northwoods League, New England Collegiate Baseball League and Prospect League.
Former MLB outfielder and first baseman Tommy Gregg brings a lifetime of baseball experience to the Pulaski River Turtles. Gregg was a standout football player and baseball player for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons before being drafted in the seventh round of the 1985 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went on to play 14 pro seasons, nine of which were in the Big Leagues. He played for the Pirates, Atlanta Braves, Reds and Florida Marlins. Following his playing career he went on to coach for 20 years in the Minor Leagues, including 15 seasons at the Triple-A level. He has also been a hitting coach in the American Association. Gregg is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame.