Chad Epperson hits ground balls to Portland Sea Dogs infielders before a game at Hadlock Field in August 2017. Epperson served as a catching coordinator for the Boston Red Sox for more than a decade. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Chad Epperson, who served as the Boston Red Sox catching coordinator for more than a decade, will become the new manager of the Portland Sea Dogs, the Red Sox announced Thursday afternoon.

Joining Epperson on the Sea Dogs five-person coaching staff is one holdover, pitching coach Lance Carter. Katie Krall already had been named as development coach, a newly created position for each of Boston’s full-season affiliates.

“I’m super excited about being back (managing) and looking forward to it, for sure,” Epperson said on an introductory Zoom call Thursday. “Once you’ve experienced being a manager and being in that grind, in the trenches every day with the guys, you miss that.”

Doug Clark, a native of Massachusetts, comes over from the San Francisco Giants organization to be hitting coach and Chris Hess, a Rhode Island native on the Fort Myers staff last season, will serve as an additional coach.

Epperson replaces Corey Wimberly, who spent one season as the Sea Dogs manager. The Red Sox promoted Wimberly to minor league baserunning and outfield coordinator. Last summer he guided the Sea Dogs to their first winning record (67-47) since 2014, missing the playoffs only because COVID restrictions reduced the qualifying teams from four to two.

Epperson, 49, played for three different Eastern League teams – Binghamton, Trenton and Bowie. Originally from Kentucky, he signed with the Mets as a 40th-round pick in 1992 and topped out at Double A in a nine-year playing career, mainly as a catcher-first baseman.


In 2001 he transitioned from player to manager in the independent Frontier League before joining the Red Sox as a minor-league hitting coach, in Sarasota. Between 2004 and 2009 Epperson served as a Class A manager at four different Red Sox affiliates, in Augusta, Greenville, Wilmington, Lancaster and Salem.

While in Lancaster, he earned consecutive California League Manager of the Year awards. Over seven seasons (including one independent baseball) he has a managerial record of 459-456. Notable major leaguers who played for Epperson were Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Moss, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Josh Reddick and Anthony Rizzo.

In 2010 Epperson became the Red Sox minor league catching coordinator, a position he held for the past 12 seasons. He and his wife, Anne, live in Derry, New Hampshire, with their son Drew and daughter Alexandra. Drew is a 2021 graduate of UMass recently hired by the Kansas City Royals to work in video and Alex is in her first year at the University of New Hampshire.

“As a coordinator, this was my favorite spot,” Epperson said of Hadlock Field, where he has spent time in each of the past 12 seasons. “It was something that I tried to plan on for the weekend so my family could come, because they love it so much.”

Carter, 47, heads into his second season as Sea Dogs pitching coach and seventh in the Red Sox system. He reached the majors with Kansas City in 1999 and pitched for Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Dodgers as well as one season in Japan.

Clark, 45, a walk-on at the University of Massachusetts after accepting a football scholarship, spent seven seasons as a hitting coach in the San Francisco Giants’ system, including last year with Double-A Richmond. He played in 14 games in the majors over two seasons with the Giants (2005) and Athletics (2006) before extending his career in Korea and Mexico.


Krall, 24, spent two years as a baseball analyst in the Cincinnati Reds front office after serving 18 months with Major League Baseball, which hired her from a pool of 1,300 applicants as part of the initial Diversity Fellowship program.

“I’m super excited to be part of the Sea Dogs tradition,” Krall said. “Everything I’ve heard is that it’s an amazing front office and great city.”

Hess, 27, played infield at the University of Rhode Island before signing with the Yankees as a 17th-round pick in 2017. He played three minor-league seasons, rising as high as the Class A Florida State League in 2019.

Epperson said he looks forward to assimilating Krall, the Sea Dogs first female coach, into what has been an exclusively male environment.

“We don’t just teach baseball,” he said. “We try to professionalize these young men to be men. We all know they all don’t make it to the big leagues. But my goal as a manager is like, if they didn’t make it to the big leagues, they were going to walk out of here better prepared for the world.”

The clubhouse will be a loose place and a fun place, Epperson said, “but everyone involved, regardless of your nationality, regardless of your gender, we’re going to respect one another and we’re going to do this together.”


SCOTT ESHBACH WAS 5 when his dad got a job with a minor-league expansion team in Portland. Charlie Eshbach left his position as Eastern League president to become general manager of the Sea Dogs, and he helped shape Portland into a model franchise.

Through the years, Scott, now 34, has worked in various roles throughout Hadlock Field, from bat boy to usher to pitch-clock operator. Last summer, he was diagnosed with end-stage liver failure. In order to survive, he needs a new liver.

Since October he has been on a list for transplant recipients at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Massachusetts.

“If they call, we have four hours to get there,” said Charlie Eshbach, who retired in 2018 after 25 years with the Sea Dogs and 45 in minor-league baseball. “Our bags are always packed and ready to go.”

The national liver transplant waiting list includes roughly 17,000 people and only about a third of them are likely to receive an organ from a deceased donor. The wait is generally longer from patients with blood types of O or B (Scott has O) than those with type A or AB.

So the Eshbachs are looking for someone who also has type O blood (positive or negative is not a factor) between the ages of 18 and 60 willing to donate a portion of their liver (it regenerates to full size within six to eight weeks). A Facebook page called Find Scott a Liver has more information. Potential donors can fill out a questionnaire at

“The more people that know about it,” Charlie Eshbach said, “the better the chance that somebody will step forward.”

THE SEA DOGS ARE HIRING game-day personnel in all areas of their operation. A complete list of available jobs is posted at

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