|New York Yankees – No. 62|
|Outfielder / Hitting coach|
December 5, 1962 |
Kansas City, Kansas
|September 7, 1996 for the Colorado Rockies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1996 for the Colorado Rockies|
|Runs batted in||2|
Atlee Alan Cockrell (born December 5, 1962, in Kansas City, Kansas) is a hitting coach for The New York Yankees. A retired Major League Baseball outfielder, Cockrell is an alumnus of Joplin, MO's now-closed Parkwood High School (1981) where he was a standout on their championship football, baseball, and basketball teams. The University of Tennessee won the battle for him where he was an all-American outfielder for the baseball team, and played quarterback for the football team.
Twice named first-team all state, Cockrell led Joplin, Missouri's Parkwood High School Bears to a 31–3 record during his three years as starting quarterback. An outstanding athlete, Cockrell's could pass (3,499 yds, 44 TDs), run (1,541 yds, 36 TDs) and even kick (154 PATs, 8 FGs).
Cockrell led the Bears' offensive attack to an undefeated season (14–0 - 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. Heavily recruited by several schools, he chose to attend the University of Tennessee.
Cockrell became the first true freshman ever to start at quarterback for the Volunteers in 1981. Fifth game into the season he suffered a major knee injury vs Auburn and his future became uncertain. One of the first football players to come back from such major knee damage, he led the Vols for 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). The victory was a great ending for Cockrell, as it would be his last game at UT. He was soon to be a first round draft pick by The San Francisco Giants.
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. The San Francisco Giants made Cockrell the ninth pick overall in the 1984 MLB draft so he chose to forgo his senior year in college and play pro baseball.
He played in the minor leagues for nine years (five different organizations), including a five-year stint with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He is a member of the Sky Sox Hall of Fame. On September 7, 1996, Cockrell made his Major League Baseball debut with the Colorado Rockies, a pinch hit appearance in which he struck out against All-Star closer Billy Wagner. His first major league hit came three days later in the form of a pinch hit double off Tom Glavine vs. Atlanta at Coors Field. Cockrell appeared in his final game on September 29, 1996.
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. He returned to MLB when he was named hitting coach for the Rockies 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.
On December 7, 2008, Cockrell was named hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners. 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.
His coaching resume has including coaching players such as Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki, Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe, Ryan Spilborghs, Ichiro Suzuki, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Jacobi Ellsbury, and Didi Gregorius.
Cockrell and his wife Polly Dunaway Cockrell reside in Edgewater, NJ during the season but also maintain a home in Beaufort, SC during the off season. Having met and dated in High School, he reunited with his first love in 2013 and they were married in St. Lucia. Together they have a blended family of 6 grown children between them. He is a born again Christian and has often been a Featured Guest Speaker concerning his faith and his sports career. As a 31 year Veteran in the industry, Cockrell is also the developer of a training device called the SwingPath Coach. Simple in design it creates "feel' for the hitter by giving immediate visual feedback which allows them to recreate the proper swing path. He and his wife own and operate the business that markets this product into baseball camps all over the country.
- Tennessee Volunteers football
- The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Manager and Coaches
- Mariners tab Cockrell as hitting coach Official site
- "Seattle Mariners fire hitting coach Alan Cockrell". Associated Press. May 9, 2010.
- "Yankees hire 2 new hitting coaches". ESPN. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
|Tennessee Volunteers Starting Quarterbacks
|New York Yankees Assistant Hitting Coach