Rich Donnelly is one of the most experienced coaches in the Major Leagues. He is entering his 26th season as a Major League coach in 2007 and his second with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last year, his first as the Dodgers’ third-base coach, Donnelly helped guide Los Angeles to an 88-74 record and into the playoffs as the National League wildcard winner.
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Donnelly spent three seasons as the third-base coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. For 17 years from 1986-2002, he was a member of coaching staffs with the Colorado Rockies, Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1997, he helped lead Florida to the world championship under manager Jim Leyland, with whom he worked for 14 seasons. Donnelly began his big league coaching career with the Texas Rangers (1980, 1983-85).
Before moving up to the Major Leagues, Donnelly was a manager in the Rangers’ minor league system for 10 years (1972-79, 1981-82) and honored as the Western Carolinas League Manager of the Year three straight seasons from 1972-74. He led class-A Gastonia to the league title in 1974 and later served as the skipper of Texas’ class-AAA affiliate for six campaigns. Donnelly’s playing career consisted of four years in the minor leagues as a catcher in the Minnesota Twins organization.
Donnelly is an avid racquetball player who has won several prestigious tournaments. He is ranked among the top 50-and-over players in the country.
After playing baseball and basketball at Steubenville (Ohio) Catholic Central High School, Donnelly received a bachelor’s degree in education from Xavier University, a Jesuit university in Cincinnati.
Donnelly and his wife Bert have eight children. He is a lifelong, devout Catholic who as a young boy entertained dreams of being a Catholic priest. In his late 20s, he fell away from the faith but had a radical conversion experience after the death of his 17-year-old daughter Amy. Her amazing story and prophetic words, “The Chicken Runs at Midnight” became a family motto and came true in 1997 when the Marlins won the World Series at midnight. “The Chicken Runs at Midnight” story is featured in the Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition DVD.