DETROIT – Former Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is returning to the baseball field to manage Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Currently serving as a special assistant for the Detroit Tigers, Leyland, a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner, will make his international coaching debut for Team USA in the fourth installment of the World Baseball Classic.
"It's a great honor to be named Manager of Team USA," said Leyland. "I'm looking forward to working with USA Baseball on this challenge in my career. I'm excited to get started & flattered with this opportunity."
"We could not be happier to have Jim Leyland serve as the manager of the 2017 U.S. World Baseball Classic team," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. "His tremendous managerial success will produce immediate respect and rapport amongst the players and staff and we look forward to him leading Team USA to new heights in the World Baseball Classic."
The U.S. is looking for its first World Baseball Classic title after a semifinal appearance in 2009 and two second-round exits in 2006 and 2013.
Leyland served as a Major League manager for 22 seasons, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-1996), the Florida Marlins (1997-1998), the Colorado Rockies (1999), and the Detroit Tigers (2006-2013). Leyland ranks 15th on the all-time wins list among Major League managers with 1,769 wins. He was named the National League Manager of the Year in 1990 and 1992 and the American League Manager of the Year in 2006. Leyland led the Florida Marlins to a World Series title in 1997 and the Detroit Tigers to two American League Championships in 2006 and 2012, before stepping down as manager after the 2013 season.
Leyland will be USA Baseball's fourth World Baseball Classic Manager following stints by Buck Martinez (2006), Davey Johnson (2009), and Joe Torre (2013).
Joining Leyland on the coaching staff are Jeff Jones, Marcel Lachemann, Lloyd McClendon, Willie Randolph, and Alan Trammell. USA Baseball will look to finalize the coaching staff and U.S. roster over the next several months.