The defending American Association champion Winnipeg Goldeyes have hired former-pitcher Jamie Vermilyea as their new pitching coach.
Vermilyea, 30, had retired as a player after the 2011 season and spent last season as the manager of the Maui Na Koa Ikaika (Maui Strong Warriors) of the independent North American League. He led the team to a 36-30 record and a berth in the playoffs.
Vermilyea served as the Goldeyes closer in 2011 when he posted a 3-3 record with a 1.81 ERA and 15 saves in 45 appearances.
"I am thrilled to have Jamie back," Goldeyes manager Rick Forney said in a statement. "I wanted to find somebody that I was familiar with and that was familiar with the organization as well. Jamie was the first person that came to mind.
"Jamie is very easy to talk to, very in-touch with everybody. He’s not that far removed from pitching, which I think helps because he’s going to be able to relate to everybody. He pitched at a high level, so he can relate to veteran players as well as the younger players. I think he’s just perfect for the job."
Vermilyea replaces Bill Pulsipher, also a former Goldeyes pitcher, who had served as the Goldeyes pitching coach for most of the 2012 season but left the team in late August for personal reasons.
"I am definitely excited to be heading back up to Winnipeg," Vermilyea said in a press release. "I am leaving a place in Maui where I have much gratitude towards them for giving me a chance to manage one of their teams."
Vermilyea was a ninth-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003 and spent seven seasons in the Toronto organization. He had two MLB appearances as a September call-up with the Blue Jays in 2007. His minor-league career included parts of four seasons at Triple-A.
With the Goldeyes, Vermilyea's 45 appearances in 2011 are tied for the second most all-time by a Goldeyes pitcher in a season behind Brian Beuning’s 51 appearances in 2008.