Jim Pankovits, a former infielder for the Houston Astros, has been named manager of the Tri-City ValleyCats by the Astros on Wednesday. He replaces Pete Rancont, who managed the ’Cats the last two years.
Pankovits spent the previous three seasons managing with the Class A-Advanced Salem Avalanche. In 2006, Pankovits was named the Carolina League Manager of the Year after leading the Avalanche to its first playoff berth since 1988. Prior to managing Salem, Pankovits spent two seasons managing Class A Quad City (1995-96), and two seasons as manager at Double A Jackson (1998-99).
“I am very excited to come back to Troy, where I have visited in the capacity as a roving defensive coordinator,” said Pankovits in a statement. “I’ve always enjoyed a great working relationship with the ValleyCats front office, and ‘The Joe’ is a beautiful place to play.”
Gary Ruby will join the ’Cats as pitching coach, and Joel Chimelis will return for his fourth season as the hitting coach.