John Debus To Coach for Orix In Japan

The Dodgers have lost another key member of their minor league field staff as LAdugout.com has learned that catching coordinator Jon Debus has accepted a coaching position with the Orix Waves of the Japanese League.

Debus, who has been with the Dodgers as a coach, manager and instructor during his long tenure, will be joining the staff headed by Terry Collins, who earlier left his position as director of player development to manage Orix

. Debus rose to the role of bullpen coach for the parent Dodgers in 2005 under Jim Tracy, then returned to the coordinating position he had held from 2002 through 2004. During that time he is credited with being the person who converted Russell Martin from the infield to catching.

He himself was a converted catcher. having previously played third base, first base and the outfield in the Dodger system which he first joined as a 21st round draft pick out of St. Francis, Ill., College in 1980. As a player he rose to a spot on the Dodger 40-man roster but never got to play a game in the big leagues.

He became a coach in 1990 with San Antonio. In 1992 he became the Great Falls manager and also managed there in 1993. In 1994 he was named the manager of Vero Beach, holding that position through 1996. In his five seasons as a manager he compiled an overall record of 274-270.

Debus served as hitting coach with Albuquerque in 1997-98, then left the organization to become the general manager of the independent Elmira Pioneers in 2000-01 before returning to the Dodger organization.

One of his last assignments with the Dodgers involved converting infielders Carlos Santana, Russell Mitchell and Luke May to catching which he did in the Arizona Instructional League this fall.

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