Thursday, October 21, 2021

Another Day, Another Coach Departs Yankees

Reggie Willits.

The Yankees announced, on Thursday morning, that first base coach and outfield coordinator Reggie Willits will be leaving the team to join the University of Oklahoma baseball program as a volunteer assistant coach.

This comes one week after the Yankees dismissed three coaches - third base coach Phil Nevin, hitting coach Marcus Thames and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere - and two days after the Yankees signed Manager Aaron Boone to a fresh three-year contract, with a team option for 2025. 

Wilits, 40, joined the Yankees organization in 2015, and he spent three seasons as their minor league outfield coordinator and baserunning coordinator before joining Boone's staff in 2018 when he took over the club.

"I want to thank Brian Cashman, Aaron Boone, and the Steinbrenner family for the opportunity to work for such a world-class organization," Willits said in a statement. "I've cherished my time with the Yankees and I've grown professionally and personally because of the bonds that I've formed with so many players, coaches, and staff.

"It's been a challenging personal decision to make. I'm leaving a team and organization I've loved being a part of, but I'm returning home to be closer to my family and to work for a program I have deep ties to and great respect for."

Willits spent his entire Major League career with the Angels, where a switch-hitting outfielder for six seasons. He played two years at the University of Oklahoma in 2002-03, so he is returning to his roots.

Before joining the Yankees, he served as the head coach at Binger-Oney High School in Oklahoma in 2013 and '14, and he led them to two state championships.

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