PHOENIX, Arizona (KAMR/KCIT) — Ronnie Gajownik, a former coach with the Amarillo Sod Poodles, was named Friday as the first-ever female manager at the High-A level, serving the position with the Hillsboro Hops, the High-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

According to a news release from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gajownik’s hire was announced Friday when the Diamondbacks released its Minor League coaching staff for 2023. Gajownik served as the first-base coach for the Amarillo Sod Poodles during the 2022 season.

Gajownik follows Rachel Balkovec, who became the first female manager in professional baseball last season, serving as the manager of the Tampa Tarpons, the Single-A affiliate for the New York Yankees. Last season, Gajownik was promoted to Amarillo after an injury impacted a coach early in the season, according to a story on Minor League Baseball’s website.

In a post made on the Amarillo Sod Poodles’ Facebook page, officials provided the following statement on Gajownik’s hire:

“HISTORY! 🤩 We’re so proud of Ronnie Gajownik, who served on the Sod Poodles coaching staff during the 2022 season.”

Amarillo Sod Poodles

According to previous reports by, the Sod Poodles named Shawn Roof as the team’s manager for his third season. They also announced former Pittsburgh Pirates player Tom Gorzelanny as the team’s pitching coach and former Montreal Expos player Terrmel Sledge as the team’s hitting coach.