KANSAS CITY -- Doug Sisson, who has been the Royals' Minor League field coordinator for the last three years, was named first-base coach of the Major League club on Thursday.
Sisson takes the spot vacated by Rusty Kuntz, who remained with the Royals as special assistant to the general manager/player development. Sisson also will serve as the outfield coach and, most important in manager Ned Yost's perspective, as the baserunning coach.
"He is one of the best baserunning instructors I've ever seen," Yost said of Sisson. "And he could very well be the best. He's really, really good at it."
The remainder of the staff, as Yost announced before the end of the season, remains intact, with third-base coach Eddie Rodriguez, pitching coach Bob McClure, bullpen coach Steve Foster, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and bench coach John Gibbons returning. Gibbons, a former manager of the Blue Jays, was interviewed recently for the Pirates' vacant managerial job and reportedly drew the interest of other clubs.
"Gibby's not going to take the Pittsburgh job, and that's going to be a good thing for us," Yost said. "He just felt like his heart was with us and the direction we were heading."
A Pirates source confirmed that Gibbons had withdrawn his name from consideration.
Sisson, 47, joined the Royals' staff in 2008 after two seasons as associate head coach at the University of Georgia, which advanced to the College World Series in '06. He began his coaching career in 1991, and managed for 10 years in the Minors for the Rangers, Expos and Angels.
His 1998 Jupiter club posted an 80-60 record and he was named Florida State League Manager of the Year. His Harrisburg club won the Eastern League title in '99. Both were Expos farm clubs, and in '03-05, he was the Minor League field coordinator for the Expos/Nationals.
Yost, who felt the Royals' "whole package" of baserunning needed fixing, just returned home from a visit to the Arizona instructional league at the Royals' Surprise complex, where he got to see Sisson's handiwork firsthand.
"Baserunning has been a passion of his and you watch the baserunning down in the instructional league and the difference you see there is tremendous," Yost said.
"They're very aggressive and they're very smart. We need to really make huge improvements in our baserunning, and I couldn't figure a better man to do it than him."
Sisson, his wife, Crickett, and daughters Tori and Delaney live in Athens, Ga. He's a native of Titusville, Fla., and played baseball at Rollins College and the University of Montevallo (Ala.).
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.