NECBL Newport Gulls

Coaching Staff


#11 Mike Coombs

In 2015, Mike Coombs enters his 11th season at the helm of the Newport Gulls since taking over as field manager during the 2005 season. Coombs owns a career regular-season record of 281-138 and has guided the Gulls to four NECBL titles (2005, 2009, 2012 and 2014) during his tenure. Under Coombs, the Newport Gulls have become the winningest franchise in league history, and in 2012 were ranked as the overall No. 1 summer collegiate team nationally by Perfect Game USA. Coombs also owns a 42-14 all-time postseason record, giving him an NECBL-best 323-152 overall win-loss record as manager, a .680 winning percentage.

"I always feel privileged to come back and be one of the Newport Gulls," Coombs said. "I love the City by the Sea. I love the organization, all the people affiliated with the organization, and this great league. I just love being a part of it."

In 2014, the Gulls under Coombs beat back adversity and a tough slump in early July to fight their way to a playoff hot streak and several breathtaking, come-from-behind postseason victories, including Game Three wins vs. the Ocean State Waves and the regular season division champion Plymouth Pilgrims in the first two rounds, before sweeping the Sanford Mainers for the organization's sixth league championship.

In 2013, Coombs again led the Gulls to an NECBL-best 30-14 in the league's first ever 44-game schedule, sweeping an impressive three double headers in three consecutive days in making up rained out games during the season's final week, and finishing the regular season on a seven-game winning streak. Coombs again served as manager for the NECBL East All-Stars, who won a hard-fought 2-1 contest. Coombs managed the Gulls to sweeps of Sanford and Mystic in the playoffs before falling in three games to the Keene Swamp Bats in the finals.

In 2012, Coombs led the Gulls to the best record in the NECBL at 31-10 during the regular season. Going 6-1 in the postseason, the Gulls defeated the Danbury Westerners, two games to none, for Newport's league-record fifth Fay Vincent, Sr. Cup. Coombs was also the manager for the Eastern Division All-Star Team.

In 2011, Coombs led the Gulls to 29-13 record, the best in the NECBL during the regular season, and again managed his division's team at the All-Star Game. The Gulls earned another Eastern Division regular season title before they were defeated by the Laconia Muskrats in the first round of the NECBL playoffs.

In 2010, Coombs guided the Gulls to a 27-15 record and another division crown during the regular season. The Gulls swept the Muskrats in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the eventual NECBL Champion North Shore Navigators in the Eastern Division Championship Series.

In 2009, the Gulls won their fourth NECBL title, defeating the Vermont Mountaineers in three games. For his exceptional summer, Coombs was named the Manager of Team NECBL for the league’s exhibition contest versus Team USA. Coombs was also named the Manager of the Eastern Division All-Star team and was named the 2009 NECBL Coach of the Year.

In 2008, Coombs was named the manager of the Southern Division All-Star Team for the second time in four seasons, as the Gulls finished 26-16 during the regular season before losing to the Sanford Mainers in the NECBL Championship Series.

In 2007, Coombs led the Gulls to the 25-win plateau during the regular season once again (25-17), but Newport fell to the Vermont Mountaineers in the NECBL Championship Series.

In 2006, Coombs steered the Gulls to a team-high 32-10 overall record during the regular season and was named the 2006 NECBL Coach of the Year. Coombs also managed the 2006 Southern Division All-Star Team.

In 2005, Coombs led the Gulls to a 26-16 record during the regular season and then on to the team’s third NECBL Championship during his first season at the helm. Coombs was an assistant coach for the season's first three games before taking over for the remainder of the season as manager.

The ever-colorful Coach Coombs has an extensive background in baseball, playing as a catcher and outfielder for Seminole Community College, in the Shenandoah Valley Collegiate League and professionally for the Detroit Tigers organization. He has coached at the high school, collegiate and professional levels, including as a pitching coach with the University of South Florida and the Milwaukee Brewers organization. A former player for Florida Southern College, later, as a coach with the team, Coombs won the national championship in 1981 and 1985.

"The way people treat me in Newport is wonderful," said Coombs. "I couldn't ask for a better second home than Newport. I love coming back for that reason. The baseball is great, the players and coaches are great. Being a part of the Newport Gulls family is something special."

During his first three seasons in Newport, Coombs wore uniform number 25. He has since worn number 11. 

Mike Coombs Career Stats

Pitching Coach

#6 Kevin Long

Kevin Long returns for his fifth season as the pitching coach of the Newport Gulls in 2015, having guided his staff to an NECBL title for a second time in 2014.

Long's pitching staff in 2013 led the NECBL in ERA (2.18), wins (30), and saves (13), and were second in the league with 381 strikeouts through 44 games.

"I've coached at Danbury and in the Cape Cod League," Long said, "and because of the places I've been, I know that this is one of the best collegiate programs in the country, and this is the place to be."

In 2011, Long played an integral role in the Gulls success on the mound, as they led the NECBL in team ERA (2.59). The Gulls pitching staff, under Long, again led the NECBL in team ERA in 2012, despite it being the most productive offensive year in NECBL history.

Prior to joining the Gulls, Long served as the pitching coach of the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2009. In 2005 and 2006, Long made his NECBL debut as an assistant coach with the Danbury Westerners.

Long pursued his passion for coaching college baseball while still working as a detective for the Miami Police Department. Upon his retirement in 2003, Long accepted a position as a pitching coach on the Miami Dade College staff. Many of his pitchers over the last decade have gone on to sign professional contracts.

Hitting / 3rd Base Coach

#24 Al Leyva

Hitting and 3rd Base Coach Al Leyva returns for his fourth season with the Newport Gulls after taking the 2014 summer off, leaving last summer's duties in the capable hands of his friend (and fellow Californian) Coach Ty De Trinidad. Leyva has eight years of experience in the NECBL as a manager and assistant coach with three different organizations. Currently, Leyva is in his seventh season as the head coach at Damien High School in California.

Under Leyva's guidance, the Gulls led the NECBL in runs scored, doubles, on base percentage (.422) and ranked second in batting average (.313) and slugging percentage (.503) in 2012, and were an offensive force again in 2013.

After coaching stints at the high school and college level, Leyva began his NECBL coaching career as the field manager of the Middletown Giants in 2003, leading them to the playoffs in his first season at the helm. In 2004 and 2005, Leyva served as an assistant coach with the Manchester Silkworms, making playoff appearances in both seasons.

In 2006, Leyva made his professional coaching debut with the Chicago White Sox rookie ball team in Bristol, Tennessee. Leyva served as an assistant coach to his brother Nick Leyva, who is currently a first base coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 2007, Leyva returned to the NECBL as manager of the North Adams Steeple Cats, taking them into the first round of the playoffs against the Newport Gulls, losing the series two games to none.  In 2008, he returned as manager of the Manchester Silkworms, taking them into the first round of the playoffs against the Gulls, also losing in two games.  The Gulls were the eventual division champions in both years.
Coach Leyva resides in Chino, California with his wife Connie, who was elected to the California State Senate in 2014, and their twin daughters, Allie and Jessie.