Towers in 2007
November 11, 1961 |
|Alma mater||Brigham Young University|
Kevin S. Towers (born November 11, 1961 in Medford, Oregon) is an American executive in Major League Baseball. He served as the General Manager of the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 2009 and for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2010 to 2014.
Towers attended Brigham Young University (BYU), where he played college baseball for the BYU Cougars baseball team in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). As a pitcher, Towers was selected to the All-WAC team. He was drafted by the Padres in the first round of the secondary phase of the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft, and was named a Texas League all-star in 1984.
Towers pitched seven seasons in San Diego’s farm system before a series of arm operations ended his career at the AAA level. Overall, he went 29-40 with a 4.64 ERA in 619 innings, including 82 starts.
Continuing his career in baseball, Towers became a pitching coach for minor league Single-A Spokane Indians in 1989 and 1990. He served as a Padres scout from 1989 through 1991. After scouting for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1991–93, Towers rejoined the Padres as scouting director from 1993 to 1995.
Towers became the Padres' seventh general manager in 1995, succeeding Randy Smith. As GM, Towers led the Padres to four division championships and an appearance in the 1998 World Series. The Padres also finished last in their division five times. Towers was known for his ability to find talented pitchers that many other teams had released.
On October 3rd, 2009, the Padres fired Towers after two disappointing seasons. Towers joined the New York Yankees as a special assignment scout for the 2010 season. On September 22, 2010 he was hired to be the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In his first season at the helm of the Diamondbacks' baseball operations, the team won 94 games and the National League West Division title just one season after finishing in last place with 97 losses. As a result of the 29-game turnaround, Towers finished third in The Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year voting.
Towers entered 2012 with 15 years of experience as a Major League general manager to join the Oakland Athletics’ Billy Beane and the San Francisco Giants’ Brian Sabean as the fourth longest-tenured active GM in Major League Baseball. Only the New York Yankees’ Brian Cashman (16 years), Detroit Tigers’ Dave Dombrowski (23 years), Cincinnati Reds’ Walt Jocketty (17 years) and Milwaukee Brewers’ Doug Melvin (16 years) had more experience among MLB’s general managers. With 1,207 wins as a General Manager entering 2012, Towers was one of the eight GMs to post at least 1,200 victories during their career.
Following the 2013 season, Towers fired his pitching coach, Charles Nagy, for allegedly refusing to instruct pitchers to hit players on opposing teams, saying that while in the old days this was known, now you have to teach it. It was duly noted by journalists that the Diamondbacks pitchers actually hit 60 batters last season, while their batters were only hit 43 times.
On May 17, 2014, the Diamondbacks hired Tony LaRussa to oversee Towers and all baseball operations. The Diamondbacks dismissed Towers from the general manager position on September 5, while offering him another position in the organization, which he declined. In 2015, he joined the Cincinnati Reds as a scout and special assistant to the general manager, Walt Jocketty.
- "Thoughts drifting as Sheffield floats". SignOnSanDiego.com. 2009-04-02. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
- "Sources: San Diego Padres decide to fire general manage Kevin Towers - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
- http://www.lohud.com/article/20100317/SPORTS01/3170335/-1/SPORTS/Former-Padres-GM-Towers-joins-Yankees[dead link]
- "Arizona Diamondbacks name Kevin Towers general manager". Arizona Republic. 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
- Ex-GM Kevin Towers leaving D-backs – ESPN
- MLB.com – D-backs' Towers dismissed as general manager
- Career statistics and player information from The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Baseball America Executive Database
|San Diego Padres General Manager
|Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager