The Pirates officially announced the hiring of Travis Williams to be their club president Monday morning.
Multiple sources told DKPittsburghSports.com Williams was in line to be the next club president shortly after the dismissal of Frank Coonelly on Oct. 23.
He will have to find a new general manager after Bob Nutting firedNeal Huntington. Kevan Graves will serve as the interim general manager and will likely get an interview to become the permanent GM.
Williams worked for the Penguins for 11 years, the final eight as the club's chief operating officer. He left the Penguins to become president of business operations for the New York Islanders last November.
This is his first job in a major league baseball front office.
"Travis' leadership abilities, experience and passion for Pittsburgh sports makes him the ideal choice for the position," Pirates owner and chairman of the board Bob Nutting said. "Travis was an integral part of the Penguins leadership team over the past decade of success. He has a keen understanding of Pittsburgh and appreciates how important our fans are. He will drive a culture of success within our organization."
Williams will take over the business side of a franchise that ranked near the bottom of the league in attendance the past two years.
"We are committed to a refresh of our entire operations. The first step in this process is to immediately begin the search for new leadership of our baseball operations," Williams said. "Within our business operations, we will focus on enhancing our relationships with the fans, the ballpark experience and our commitment to the Pittsburgh community."
Williams talked about the conversation he had with Nutting to convince him to come to the Pirates in an interview with DKPittsburghSports.com staff Monday. Said Williams:
"I said, “are you committed to winning?” And Bob said, “absolutely committed to winning.” And I said, if you’re committed to winning, and you’re going to provide the support and the resources necessary to do that... and support me in making the changes we need to make and doing the things we need to do to in order to get to where you want to be, I’m all in."
MATT SUNDAY GALLERY
[caption id="attachment_908228" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Bob Nutting, Travis Williams meet with DKPittsburghSports.com, PNC Park, Oct. 28, 2019 -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]