"Darnell's experience and perspective are a good complement to Wally Joyner's approach," manager Brad Ausmus said in a statement. "We're pleased to have him join our coaching staff."
Coles, 51, enjoyed a 14-year Major League career, primarily as a third baseman and outfielder. He broke in with Seattle, where he played from 1983-85 and again from 1988-90. He spent time with the Tigers, from 1986-87 and in 1990, and also played for the Pirates, Giants, Reds, Blue Jays, Cardinals and Rockies.
In 957 big league games, he batted .245, with 75 home runs and 368 RBIs.
With the Tigers in 1986, he hit a career-high 20 home runs.
Prior to accepting the post with the Tigers, Coles was prepared to manage the Brewers' Triple-A club, the Nashville Sounds. He spent four seasons coaching in Milwaukee's Minor League system, including the last two years managing the Double-A Huntsville Stars.
From 2010-11 he was a hitting coordinator.
Coles' coaching background also includes four years in the Nationals system. He served as hitting coach at Triple-A Syracuse in 2009, and manager of Class A Hagerstown in 2008 and Class A Vermont in 2007. He spent the 2006 season as Washington's roving hitting instructor.
A first-round pick of the Mariners in 1980, Coles has an interesting distinction as one of 14 players -- among them Babe Ruth -- to hit three homers in a game in both the American and National Leagues.
With the addition of Coles, the Tigers' 2014 coaching staff includes Joyner, bench coach Gene Lamont, pitching coach Jeff Jones, first base/infield/baserunning coach Omar Vizquel, third-base coach/outfield instructor Dave Clark and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer.
In addition, Matt Martin has been hired to serve as defensive coordinator.