Published On: March 19th, 2009



Date: March 19, 2009

Honkers Complete Coaching Staff

(ROCHESTER, MN) The Rochester Honkers Baseball Club announced the finalization of their coaching staff for the 2009 season. Field Manager Rusty McNamara has hired Joe Cotton as his pitching coach and former Rochester Honker and assistant coach at the University of North Dakota, Eric Hoffmann, who will be in charge of hitters and outfielders.

Cotton, 34, has known McNamara since their professional playing days with the Philadelphia Phillies. The right-handed pitcher attended Bowling Green St. University, where he was an 18th round draft pick in 1996 by the Phillies. He then played with McNamara over the next five seasons. 

“It is a privilege to be chosen by Rusty to head his pitching staff this summer and to coach with someone that shares the same philosophies of the game, it is truly a great and rare opportunity,” said Cotton. “Out of all the summer leagues, the Northwoods League gives its players the best environment to develop the specific skills that are in a minor league atmosphere. The NWL League had a huge impact on my decision of why I chose to coach in this league.”

In 2000, the Oakland A’s acquired Cotton via the Rule 5 Draft and he spent the next two seasons between AA and AAA. Cotton finished his affiliated professional career 32-25 with a 3.31 ERA. He appeared in 228 games, mainly as a reliever, striking out 386 over 473 innings pitched.

He and McNamara hooked up again in 2003, playing 2 seasons for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, where they won a league championship in 2004. Since retiring, Cotton now resides in Palm Harbor, FL. where he is a private baseball instructor.

Eric Hoffmann played for the Rochester Honkers in 2005 and on the 2006 NWL Championship Team. He was an outfielder and a left-handed pitcher. In 2006, Hoffmann hit .246 with 8 doubles and 16 RBI. He made 12 appearances on the mound, striking out 13 in only 11.0 innings pitched.

“I ‘m very excited to be back in Rochester not as a player but this time as a coach,” said Hoffmann. “Playing two summers in Rochester is something I will never forget. I feel real honored to be a part of a coaching staff with so much professional experience and passion for the game of baseball.”

The Erskine, MN native started his collegiate playing career in 2004 at Iowa Central Community College where he was named to the all-region first team and all-district first team both years. He then attended the University of Northern Iowa where he was a 2007 Missouri Valley Conference honorable mention honoree as an outfielder. After his collegiate playing days, Hoffmann played independent baseball for the Sioux City Explorers (2007) and the Rockford Riverhawks (2008) before entering the coaching ranks.

Latest News