12/16/2020 10:22 AM
Article By: Cleburne Railroaders
CLEBURNE, Tex. (Dec. 17, 2020) – The Cleburne Railroaders announced today the hiring of Mike Jeffcoat as field manager.
Jeffcoat served as the Railroaders pitching coach during the 2019 season, his first with the club. Under his direction, Cleburne’s pitching staff ranked among the league-leaders in several major categories, including a 3.90 team ERA that finished second on the circuit. Cleburne pitchers saw a marked statistical improvement across the board from 2018 to 2019, cutting down on walks (386 to 327) and hits allowed (961 to 892), while increasing the number of strikeouts (736 to 776). Railroaders pitchers Jesus Sanchez and Tyler Wilson were selected as American Association Mid-Season All-Stars.
“I feel incredibly humbled and blessed that the Railroaders organization has given me this opportunity,” Jeffcoat said. “I especially want to thank Co-Owner Daryn Eudaly, President John Junker, and General Manager Josh Robertson for their faith in me to lead this ballclub moving forward. I’m excited to get back on the diamond at The Depot and continue to build off the tremendous momentum we had in 2019.”
Jeffcoat succeeds Brent Clevlen, who managed the Railroaders to a 57-43 record in his lone season at the helm in 2019. The Railroaders were one of six American Association franchises that did not participate in the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There’s no question in my mind that Mike is the perfect fit to lead us into the next era of Railroaders baseball,” Railroaders President and Co-Owner John Junker said. “His ties to the Johnson County community, combined with experience at the game’s highest level and a familiarity with many of our returning players, made him the ideal candidate for this position. I look forward to watching him work together with the rest of our staff to build the next great Railroaders team.”
Jeffcoat brings a wealth of experience to the Railroaders as both a player and coach. Originally a 13th round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians out of Louisiana Tech, the native of Pine Bluff, Ark., made his MLB debut in 1983, the first of three seasons he would spend with Cleveland. Jeffcoat was traded to the San Francisco Giants early in the 1985 season, and then later signed with the Texas Rangers as a free agent prior to the 1987 campaign. It was with the Rangers that Jeffcoat put together some of his best seasons as a professional, including in 1989, when he went 9-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 22 starts. After six seasons in Texas, Jeffcoat finished out his major league career in 1994 by making four appearances for the Florida Marlins.
Over the course of 15 pro seasons, Jeffcoat produced 110 wins to 85 losses, compiling a 3.98 ERA in more than 1,700 career innings.
Jeffcoat came to Cleburne after 16 seasons as head coach at Texas Wesleyan, where he built the Rams into one of the most consistently successful programs in the NAIA. Jeffcoat inherited a program in 2002 that hadn’t produced a 40-win season in more than 20 years, a mark that the Rams reached five times under his guidance. With more than 500 career victories, Jeffcoat is the all-time winningest coach in Texas Wesleyan history, including eight appearances in the Regional/NAIA National Championship Opening Round Tournament.
Jeffcoat, 61, resides in Godley with his wife, Elaine. He has a daughter, Haley, two granddaughters, Olivia and Caroline, and a grandson, Jordan.