Pirates President Frank Coonelly Leaving Team

Owner Bob Nutting says he and Coonelly both agree on the decision

Andrew Limberg
October 23, 2019 - 11:17 am
Frank Coonelly

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - The Pirates announced Wednesday that team president Frank Coonelly is leaving the team.

A replacement will be named Monday, October 28.

Owner Bob Nutting said in the following statement:

“I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for Frank. I will forever be grateful for his tireless work ethic on behalf of the organization, as well as his and his family’s commitment to making a positive impact in our community.

“Frank and I both agreed that it was clear a change in the day-to-day leadership of the Club is needed. This leadership transition gives us the opportunity to refresh our entire operations. Internally, the organization is energized as we prepare to introduce our new president on Monday, while we continue to work to identify a new field manager and build our coaching staff.”

An outgoing Coonelly said the following:

“The second half of our season was disappointing to our fans and to all of us in the organization. Results matter and our results simply were not acceptable. It was clear that change was necessary.

“As we worked through a comprehensive assessment of everything that we do, I undertook an honest self-evaluation. While not an easy conclusion to reach, I ultimately decided that the best interests of the Pirates would be served if the Club had a new leader who would bring new ideas and a new direction.

“I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to lead this storied franchise in this great city for the last 12 years. I will forever be grateful to Bob and the entire Nutting family for giving me this incredible opportunity to serve. I am grateful as well for the opportunity to work with the highly talented and dedicated women and men who have worked for the Pirates during my time here. Whatever level of success we were able to achieve during this time was the direct result of their dedication to the organization and its fans.

“And, finally, about those fans -- the men, women and kids who love and support the Pirates fueled me each and every day. I will never be able properly to thank them for the love and inspiration that they gave my family and me. The people of Pittsburgh welcomed us to town and supported us throughout this entire journey. I will forever be rooting for the Pirates organization and its great fans.”

He helped oversee a brief renaissance that resulted in three straight playoff berths from 2013-15.

The Pirates have fallen off the pace in recent years, finishing below .500 in three of the last four seasons.

The freefall included a number of off-the-field incidents this season, including the arrest of All-Star closer Felipe Vázquez on felony charges relating to an improper sexual relationship with an underage girl.

Relievers Keone Kela and Kyle Crick were suspended after heated arguments with staff members.

Coonelly joined the Pirates in 2007 coming from the Commissioner's Office,

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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