San Francisco Giants hire first female coach in MLB ahead of 2020 season


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco Giants announced Thursday the addition of two new coaches to manager Gabe Kapler’s staff ahead of the 2020 season — including one hire that’s breaking the traditional gender roles in professional sports.

Alyssa Nakken — a former softball player at Sacramento State University and Chief Information Officer for the baseball team at the University of San Francisco — is the Giants’ new assistant coach.

According to the Giants and MLB, Nakken is the first woman to serve full-time on a major league coaching staff.

Women coaching in professional baseball isn’t entirely unheard of.

In November, the Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec as a minor league hitting coach.

In 2015, the A’s hired Justine Siegal as a guest instructor.

Oakland also hired Veronica Alvarez as a guest catching coach last spring.

Nakken has worked for the Giants since 2014, starting as an intern in baseball operations, according to MLB.

She is also in charge of the Giants’ women’s network — which works to encourage diversity and equality in the organization

At Sacramento State, Nakken was a four-time Academic All American softball player, according to MLB, and played first base for the Hornets for three years.

Marl Hallberg will also serve as an assistant coach for the team.

“Alyssa and Mark are highly respected members of the organization and I’m delighted that they will now focus their talents on helping to build a winning culture in the clubhouse,” Kapler said in a statement this week.

Kapler went on to say Hallberg and Nakken will help create a clubhouse culture that will promote performance and “a deep sense of collaboration and team.”

Nakken and Hallberg are two of 13 additions to Kapler’s staff for the upcoming season.

Hallberg has served as the manager for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, a minor league club in Oregon, for the past two seasons.

Other members of the Giants’ coaching staff for the 2020 season include:

  • Bullpen: Craig Albernaz
  • Pitching: Andrew Bailey
  • Pitching Director: Brian Bannister
  • Assistant Pitching: Ethan Katz
  • Bench: Kai Correa
  • Hitting: Justin Veile and Donnie Ecker
  • Director of Hitting: Distin Lind
  • Third Base: Ron Wotus
  • First Base, Outfield, Baserunning Coach: Antoan Richardson
  • Quality Assurance Coach: Nick Ortiz
  • Assistant Coach: Mark Hallberg

Pitchers and catchers report for spring training Feb. 11 with the first game on Feb. 22 against the Dodgers.

The regular season begins March 26 in Los Angeles for the Dodgers’ opener.

The home opener is slated for April 3.

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