Chad Epperson will return for his third season as the Portland Sea Dogs manager, the Boston Red Sox announced on Thursday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Chad Epperson will be back for his third season as manager of the Portland Sea Dogs in 2024, the Boston Red Sox announced Thursday.

Over Epperson’s first two seasons, the Sea Dogs had a record of 148-126, reaching the Eastern League playoffs in 2022 – the team’s first playoff appearance since 2014. The Sea Dogs, Boston’s Double-A affiliate, finished 73-63 last season.

“I love it there,” Epperson said of Portland in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “It’s such a good spot. If you’re going to be (working) in the minor leagues, Portland is the place to be.”

Pitching coach Sean Isaacs, development coach Justin Frometa, coach Mickey Jiang and athletic trainer Bobby Stachura will return to Epperson’s staff. Following the promotion of hitting coach Doug Clark to Triple-A Worcester, Chris Hess will be Portland’s hitting coach after serving in the same role at High-A Greenville last season.

Hess previously worked as a coach with the Sea Dogs in 2022. Other newcomers to Portland’s coaching staff in 2024 are coach Kyle Sasala and strength and conditioning coach Donny Gress.

Prior to becoming manager of the Sea Dogs, Epperson spent 12 seasons as the Red Sox minor league catching coordinator. Epperson also managed in the Red Sox organization from 2004-09, for Class A teams in Salem, Virginia; Lancaster, California; and Wilmington, Delaware.


Brian Abraham, the Red Sox director of player development, said Epperson’s ability to develop talent, as well as have difficult conversations with players when necessary, is what makes him a good fit as manager of the Sea Dogs.

“Chad is in alignment with what we’re trying to do. He wants to get players improving every day, and he does a good job preparing them for (Triple-A) Worcester, and ultimately, Boston,” Abraham said. “We very much trust him. He’s really a part of everything we do.”

While the rosters for Boston’s four minor league affiliates will not be set until the end of spring training, the Sea Dogs could potentially start the season with a handful of the organization’s top prospects. Three of Boston’s top prospects, as ranked by – No. 1 Marcelo Mayer (shortstop), No. 2 Roman Anthony (outfield) and No. 4 Kyle Teel (catcher) – completed the 2023 season with Portland, although Mayer was on the injured list and did not play after Aug. 2. Starting pitcher Wikelman Gonzalez, the No. 9 prospect, also finished last season with the Sea Dogs.

“We’re going to have a lot of talent there. A lot of our prospects at least are going to start (in Portland),” Epperson said. “Now, we’ve just got to get to spring training and start to get these guys ready.”

Epperson will be the fourth Sea Dogs manager to run the team for at least three seasons. Arnie Beyeler managed Portland for four years, 2007-10. Carlos Tosca, the club’s first manager, was with the Sea Dogs from their debut season in 1994 through 1996. Kevin Boles, Beyeler’s successor, managed the Sea Dogs through 2013.

The Sea Dogs open the season April 5 at Hadlock Field against the Hartford Yard Goats.

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