Good Morning
Good Morning

Reggie Willits leaving Yankees to become Oklahoma baseball volunteer assistant coach

Reggie Willits of the Yankees poses during Photo

Reggie Willits of the Yankees poses during Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Feb. 24 in Tampa, Fla. Credit: MLB Photos via Getty Images/Mike Carlson

More change is coming to the Yankees’ 2022 dugout staff. First base/outfield coach Reggie Willits will be leaving the organization to take a "volunteer assistant" coaching position at the University of Oklahoma.

The Yankees made the announcement late Thursday morning.

That marks the fourth member of manager Aaron Boone's staff to leave the organization after the Oct. 5 loss to the Red Sox in the American League wild-card game.

Three were pushed out last week as hitting coach Marcus Thames, assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere and third base coach Phil Nevin were told their contracts would not be renewed.

Early indications are Willits, 40, left on his own accord, though the former MLB player and longtime coach likely took note of the franchise's current direction — which includes gradually shedding itself of those with experience in uniform — before choosing to return to his native Oklahoma.

"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 released by the Yankees. "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."

Further changes to the staff, most of whom will see their contracts expire Dec. 31, can’t be ruled out.

The future of bench coach Carlos Mendoza remains unknown. Indications are the Yankees want him back in some capacity, as general manager Brian Cashman has long been a booster.

On Tuesday, the Yankees announced that Boone received a new three-year contract with a team option for a fourth year.

New York Sports