The good news just keeps on coming for the Amarillo Sod Poodles inaugural season. The Texas League has announced that Amarillo Sod Poodles manager Phillip Wellman has been named the 2019 Texas League Manager of the Year. It marks the veteran skipper’s second Manager of the Year honor in three seasons (2017 – San Antonio). The award is voted on by the league’s managers, staff and media.

Wellman, who is in his fourth season at the Double-A level in the San Diego Padres organization, has led Amarillo to a 70-63 (.526) record so far with five games to play in the inaugural 2019 regular season. The Sod Poodles have already qualified for the playoffs, as they won their first-half division title and currently own the best second-half South division record.

In 2017, Wellman was named Texas League Manager of the Year after guiding Double-A San Antonio to a Texas League-best 78-62 record. In 2018, he piloted the Missions to a 71-67 record, clinching their second consecutive playoff bout and leading the squad to their first Championship series appearance since taking the league title in 2013.

“I’m very honored and humbled,” said Sod Poodles Manager Phillip Wellman. “I must thank God for providing me the opportunity to serve the players of the Padres organization and those who were fortunate to be able to enjoy the excitement and pleasure of playing in Amarillo this season. This award is obviously an indicator of the club that I was afforded to manage. Thank you to the Padres, the players of the Amarillo Sod Poodles and to all who have supported us this season!”

 

“We couldn’t be happier for Phillip for receiving this well-deserved recognition!” said Tony Ensor, President and General Manager of the Amarillo Sod Poodles. “His commitment to these players and to this team are evident each and every game you see his team take the field. Phillip and this team have made this inaugural season one that will never be forgotten here in Amarillo! We are very proud to have Phillip as our manager for his baseball knowledge, but even more for the leadership and guidance he brings to these young men!”

Wellman's managerial career began in 1992 with the Baltimore Orioles Gulf Coast League affiliate. He has also managed Winston-Salem (Cincinnati Reds High-A) of the Carolina League (1996), Burlington (Cincinnati Class A) of the Midwest League (1997-98), Chattanooga (Cincinnati AA) of the Southern League (1999, 2001-2003), Mississippi (Atlanta AA) of the Southern League (2007-2010) and Arkansas (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim AA) of the Texas League (2014). In 2008, Wellman led the Mississippi Braves to a 73-66 record and a Southern League championship. In 2017, while with San Antonio, he eclipsed his 1,000th win as a minor league manager in April, finishing the 2017 campaign with 1,073 career wins.

Wellman was born in Marlin, TX, but grew up in San Antonio, Texas. Wellman attended Madison High School, graduating in 1980.

Historically, Wellman becomes the fifth Amarillo manager to be named Texas League Manager of the Year. Previous managers from Amarillo’s past include Buddy Hancken (1967 Amarillo Sonics), Andy Gilbert (1971 Amarillo Giants), Bob Miller (1976 Amarillo Gold Sox), and Eddie Watt (1981 Amarillo Gold Sox). In his 20th season as a manager, Wellman is currently 1214-1278 in his career.