The Coolbaugh Award is presented to an individual who has shown an outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field. Oklahoma City RedHawks manager Bobby Jones has been teaching the game and imparting his wisdom on players for the past 19 seasons, all in the Texas Rangers organization.
"I am so proud and honored to be the first recipient of the Mike Coolbaugh Award," expressed Jones. "This is very special to me. Mike was a great guy, devoted to baseball and his family. I feel very lucky to have known him and had him play for me on one of my clubs. I am extremely proud to accept this prestigious award named in his honor."
Jones ranks seventh among active Minor League managers with 1,285 wins. He has led two clubs to league championships; the 1989 Charlotte Rangers (Florida State) and the 1998 Tulsa Drillers (Texas). Four of his last six Oklahoma clubs have won division championships.
Bobby became a Minor League manager in 1988 after playing professionally for 21 years, including parts of nine seasons from 1974-86 in the Major Leagues. His playing career was put on hold when he served 14 months in Vietnam from December 1969 to February 1971.