Coles joins the Tigers after recently being named the manager of the Triple-A Nashville Sounds in the Milwaukee Brewers organization on October 10, 2013. He has spent four seasons in the Brewers organization, including the last two as manager of the Double-A Huntsville Stars (2012-13), and his first two as hitting coordinator in 2010-11. Prior to joining the Brewers, Coles spent four seasons in the Washington Nationals organization. He served as hitting coach at Triple-A Syracuse in 2009 and as manager with Class-A Hagerstown (2008) and Class-A Vermont (2007). He also spent the 2006 season as Washington's roving hitting instructor.
Coles, 51, had a 14-year Major League playing career primarily as a third baseman and outfielder with Seattle (1983-85, 1988-90), Detroit (1986-87, 1990), Pittsburgh (1987-88), San Francisco (1991), Cincinnati (1992), Toronto (1993-94), St. Louis (1995) and Colorado (1997). In 957 games, Coles batted .245 with 75 home runs and 368 RBI.
In 1986, Coles hit a career-high 20 home runs for the Tigers. In 247 games with Detroit, Coles hit .246 with 25 homers and 105 RBI.
Selected by the Mariners in the first round of the 1980 draft, Coles went on to become one of only 14 players, including Babe Ruth, to hit three home runs in a single game in both the American League and National League.
The Tigers 2014 coaching staff includes: bench coach Gene Lamont; pitching coach Jeff Jones; first base/infield/baserunning coach Omar Vizquel, third base coach/outfield instructor Dave Clark; hitting coach Wally Joyner, assistant hitting coach Darnell Coles; and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer. Matt Martin was also hired to serve as the club's defensive coordinator.