HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Hannibal Cavemen have finalized their coaching staff with a little more than two weeks before the season-opener.
Dick "LT" Dent will manage the Cavemen for the 2016 season, club co-owner and general manager Bob Hemond announced Tuesday afternoon. Travis Ruppel will be the club's pitching coach, and Ryan Doran will be an assistant coach.Dent replaces Greg McVey, who coached the Cavemen for one season to a franchise-worst 16-40 record. McVey is now the athletic director at Jefferson College.Dent spent more than 20 years involved with Major League Baseball. He was the head strength and conditioning coach for the San Diego Padres from 1976-90. He was on staff for the Dick Williams-led Padres team that won the 1984 National League pennant. He was the head trainer twice for the National League in the MLB All-Star Game.He gets the nickname "LT" from his military background. Dent was a platoon leader in the Vietnam War and earned three Bronze Stars for his service.Ruppel, a Quincy University graduate, played for the Hawks from 2009-11 and now is the baseball coach at Western High School. He made 21 relief appearances in his senior season as the Hawks won the Great Lakes Valley Conference title.Doran was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State, where he played under Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. He played for Double A Mobile BayBears in 2015.The Cavemen open their season at 6:38 p.m. May 26 against the Danville Dans at Clemens Field.