Brewers sign manager Craig Counsell to contract extension through 2023

Official Twitter of the Milwaukee Brewers.
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MILWAUKEE (WMTV) -- The Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell has been signed to a 3-year contract extension through the 2023 season.

The Brewers made the announcement from their official Twitter account.

"Leading this organization on the field continues to be a great honor and a unique privilege," Counsell said.

The Brewers on Wednesday signed Counsell, 49, to a widely-anticipated deal, since Counsell was heading into the final year of his contract.

“I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish during a short period of time through our collaborative efforts, and look forward to what the future holds," Counsell said.

Already the longest-tenured manager in the National League, Counsell’s extension could make him the longest-tenured manager in Brewers history. Phil Garner managed the team for eight seasons from 1992-99; if Counsell serves into 2023, he will have been at the helm for parts of nine seasons.

“We are pleased to extend the contract of one of the best managers in the game today,” said Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns in a statement. “Over the last five seasons, Craig has led our team with a passion and intelligence that has resulted in some of the greatest success in the history of the franchise. I am confident in Craig’s abilities to lead, teach and compete as we continue our mission of bringing a championship to Wisconsin.”

Counsell was born in South Bend, Ind., but he was raised in greater Milwaukee, where his father, John, worked in the Brewers’ front office from 1979-87. Before his own baseball career took off, Craig Counsell was a regular at County Stadium, and he fell in love with the great teams of Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Jim Gantner and Cecil Cooper in the late 1970s and early '80s. Those teams never won the World Series, but Counsell did -- twice. He scored the winning run for the Marlins in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7 of the '97 Fall Classic against the Indians, then took a hit-by-pitch one batter before Luis Gonzalez delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning for the D-backs against the Yankees in Game 7 in 2001.

Counsell subsequently played two stints with the Brewers in 2004 and from '07-11, helping to end Milwaukee’s 26-year postseason drought in '08, and serving as a veteran bench player for an '11 team that won the NL Central and made it past the D-backs in the NL Division Series and into the NL Championship Series. After retiring in ’11, Counsell took a job in the front office under Brewers GM Doug Melvin and learned about the parts of the sport he couldn’t see from the field.

In May 2015, with the Brewers off to a slow start on the heels of a brutal finish to the previous season, Counsell returned to the dugout as manager, and he has been there ever since.

“One of the things about professional athletes is they’re human, and when someone has confidence in you, you perform better,” said Brewers owner Mark Attanasio the night the Crew clinched a 2019 playoff berth. “All these guys know he believes in them and counts on them. Then they achieve.”