Pirates announce team president Frank Coonelly is stepping down - Pittsburgh Business Times
The Pittsburgh Pirates announced Wednesday that team president Frank Coonelly is stepping down from his position.
Coonelly will vacate the role he has held since 2007. He was appointed to the position by owner Bob Nutting, several months after Nutting had taken over as principal owner of the team. The Pirates said a new president will be announced on Monday, Oct. 28.
In a statement, Nutting said that he and Coonelly had agreed that it was time for the latter to move on, and added that the change in leadership will give the Pirates the opportunity to refresh their entire organization.
"I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for Frank," Pirates owner Bob Nutting said in a statement. "I will forever be grateful for his tireless work ethic on behalf of the organization."
During his 12-year tenure as president, the Pirates had their first winning season in 20 years and reached the postseason three times. But the team has struggled mightily in recent years, finishing with the second worst record in the National League last year. Attendance over the last two seasons were at the lowest levels since the team moved into PNC Park in 2001.
"The second half of our season was disappointment to our fans and to all of us in the organization," Coonelly said in a statement. "As we worked through a comprehensive assessment of everything that we do, I undertook an honest self-evaluation. While not an easy conclusion to reach, I ultimately decide that the best interest of the Pirates would be served if the club had a new leader who would bring new ideas and a new direction."
Coonelly added that he was "blessed" to have the opportunity to work for the Pirates and thanked Nutting, the team's staff and the fans.
Coonelly is the second major firing for the Pirates after their 2019 season. Manager Clint Hurdle was fired before the final game of the season and the team is still looking for a replacement. General manager Neal Huntington is still with the team and has two years remaining on his contract - although Hurdle also had two years remaining when he was let go last month.
As the Pirates continue to overhaul their team, another member of Pittsburgh's management team has bitten the dust. The Pirates officially parted ways with team president Frank Coonelly in a mutual agreement.
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