NCAA Baseball

Ex-Rangers manager Jeff Banister heads back to college for next baseball gig

Jeff Banister has found his next landing spot in the game of baseball.

On Wednesday, the University of Northern Colorado announced the addition of the former Texas Rangers manager as its director of player development.

“It is great to have Bani join the Bears baseball program for the upcoming season. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be a great asset in mentoring our current players and coaching staff,” head coach Carl Iwasaki said in a statement.

“He has been a great friend and mentor to me for the past twenty-plus years, welcome Jeff and Karen to the Bear Den!”

Iwasaki and Banister’s relationship goes back to 1995-96 when they worked together in the MLB affiliated Hawaiian Winter Baseball League.

Banister was laid off from his front office position with the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this summer amid cutbacks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He returned to his Pittsburgh roots in early 2019 by joining the organization as a special assistant in baseball operations.

Banister spent 29 years with the Pirates in a variety of roles before becoming the Rangers’ manager in 2015. He was 325-313 with two American League West titles and one manager of the year award in four seasons on the job.

The Rangers removed Banister with 10 games remaining in the 2018 season. Banister had a year remaining on his contract with the Rangers at the time he was removed.

Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus reacts after being called out on a steal attempt during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Globe Life Field on Saturday, July 25, 2020.

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