Alan Cockrell

Atlee Alan Cockrell (born December 5, 1962) is an American professional baseball outfielder and coach. He was most recently the hitting coach for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball.

Alan Cockrell
Outfielder / Hitting coach
Born: (1962-12-05) December 5, 1962
Kansas City, Kansas
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 7, 1996, for the Colorado Rockies
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1996, for the Colorado Rockies
MLB statistics
Batting average.250
Home runs0
Runs batted in2
As player

As coach

Football career

Twice named first-team all state, Cockrell led Joplin, Missouri's Parkwood High School Bears football team to a 313 record during his three years as starting quarterback. An outstanding athlete, Cockrell could pass (3,499 yards and 44 touchdowns), run (1,541 yards and 36 touchdowns), and even kick (154 extra points and eight field goals).

Cockrell led the Bears' offensive attack to an undefeated season (140 - outscoring opponents 653-33) and the Missouri State Class 4A High School Championship in 1980, despite being one of the smallest schools in Class 4A. That team has recently been inducted into the Joplin Area Sports Hall of Fame, alongside the likes of NASCAR's Jamie McMurray.[1][2] Heavily recruited by several schools, he chose to attend the University of Tennessee.

Under head coach Johnny Majors, Cockrell became the first true freshman ever to start at quarterback for the Volunteers in 1981.[3] In the fifth game into the season, he suffered a major knee injury against the Auburn Tigers and his future became uncertain.[4] One of the first football players to come back from such major knee damage, he led the Vols in the 1982 (6-5-1) and 1983 (9-3) seasons, culminating in a 30–23 victory over the Maryland Terrapins (led by future NFL standout Boomer Esiason) in the inaugural Florida Citrus Bowl (now Capital One Bowl).[5][6][7] The victory was a great ending for Cockrell, as it would be his last game at the University of Tennessee. He was soon to be a first round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants.[8]

College football statistics

Year School Conf Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
1981 Tennessee SEC 15 31 48.4 119 3.8 1.6 1 2 78.4
1982 Tennessee SEC 174 294 59.2 2,021 6.9 5.4 12 15 120.2
1983 Tennessee SEC 128 243 52.7 1,683 6.9 6.1 13 10 120.3
Career Tennessee 317 568 55.8 3,823 6.7 5.5 26 27 117.9

Baseball career

Cockrell's first love had always been baseball, and he was an even better outfielder than he was a quarterback. An All-American, he was named to the University of Tennessee All-Century Baseball Team in 2009.[9] The San Francisco Giants made Cockrell the ninth pick overall in the 1984 MLB draft, and he chose to forgo his senior year in college and play professional baseball.[10]

Cockrell played in the minor leagues for thirteen years with five different organizations, including five years with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.[11] He starred for the Sky Sox and eventually became a member of the Sky Sox Hall of Fame. At the end of the 1996 season, at the age of 33, he finally had a cup of coffee in the major leagues. He debuted for the Colorado Rockies on September 7, 1996, with a pinch hit appearance in which he struck out against All-Star closer Billy Wagner.[12] His first major league hit came three days later in the form of a pinch hit double off Tom Glavine against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field. He had nine plate appearances for the Rockies, and retired at the end of the season.[13]

Coaching career

His leadership skills and teaching ability, though, shone through and Cockrell spent the next few years working as a manager and hitting coach in various parts of the Colorado Rockies' development system.[14][15] He returned to the MLB when he was named hitting coach for the Rockies on November 7, 2006 his second stint, having previously served as hitting instructor the last five months of the 2002 season when Clint Hurdle was promoted to manager. Under Cockrell's guidance in 2007, the Rockies slugged their way to a National League Championship, leading the circuit in batting, on-base percentage, and total hits. Cockrell was one of four coaches let go by the Rockies after a disappointing 2008 season in which the team won only 74 games.[16][17] On December 7, 2008, Cockrell was named hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners.[18] On May 9, 2010, Cockrell the first of four coaches who were relieved of their duties alongside manager Don Wakamatsu. He was replaced by Alonzo Powell.[19]

On January 11, 2015, the New York Yankees hired Cockrell to be one of the two hitting coaches employed by them in 2015 along with Jeff Pentland.[20] On November 2, 2015, Cockrell was named the hitting coach of the Yankees after the firing of Jeff Pentland. Marcus Thames was hired as assistant hitting coach.[21] After the 2017 season the Yankees let Joe Girardi's contract expire and hired Aaron Boone to be their next manager. Cockrell's contract was not renewed after the coaching change.[22]


  1. Ostmeyer, Andy (September 1, 2006). "It took a team to build Parkwood's perfect season". Joplin Globe. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  2. Henry, Jim (May 13, 2010). "Dominant Parkwood team enters hall of fame". Joplin Globe. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  3. Price, Austin (November 17, 2016). "Memory VolT: Alan Cockrell". VolQuest. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  4. Holland, Steve (September 26, 1981). "Senior quarterback Steve Alatorre, replacing injured freshman Alan Cockrell,..." UPI. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  5. "1982 Tennessee Volunteers Schedule and Results". College Football at Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  6. "1983 Tennessee Volunteers Schedule and Results". College Football at Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  7. "Citrus Bowl - Tennessee vs Maryland Box Score, December 17, 1983". College Football at Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  8. "1st Round of the 1984 MLB June Amateur Draft". Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  9. Rudolph, Dylan (May 30, 2017). "Feature: Yankees Coach Alan Cockrell - ESPN 98.1 FM - 850 AM WRUF". WRUF. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  10. "Tennessee quarterback Alan Cockrell has signed a baseball contract..." UPI. June 5, 1984. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  11. Mitchell, Andrew (March 27, 2012). "Best of the Sky Sox: Best Hitter". Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  12. "Colorado Rockies at Houston Astros Box Score, September 7, 1996". Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  13. "Alan Cockrell 1996 Batting Game Logs". Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  14. "Manager and Coaches". Colorado Rockies. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  15. "Manager and Coaches". Seattle Mariners. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  16. "2008 Colorado Rockies Statistics". Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  17. Stark, Jayson (October 15, 2007). "Rockies unbelievably reach World Series". Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  18. Arnold, Kirby (December 8, 2008). "Retooling of M's roster begins". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  19. "M's fire hitting coach amid offensive struggles". Associated Press. May 9, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  20. Marchand, Andrew (January 11, 2015). "Yankees hire 2 new hitting coaches". Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  21. King III, George A. (November 2, 2015). "Yankees fill hitting coach jobs with promotion, former player". New York Post. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  22. "Marcus Thames promoted to Yankees hitting coach". USA Today. Associated Press. February 5, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
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