Macon Bacon’s president leads charge in inclusivity

Over half of the Bacon's full-time staff is female.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Macon Bacon have nine full-time staff members, and over half of the employees are female. So for the Bacon, hiring the first-ever female coach in Coastal Plain League history fits right into the team’s inclusive narrative.

“Whether they’re male or female, it doesn’t matter. You’re always looking for the best person for the job, and that’s the way we have always done that here,” said Bacon president Brandon Raphael. “More than half of our full-time staff are females. In the baseball world, it doesn’t always look like that in front offices. So we’re very proud of that.”

The Macon Bacon have hired Kianna Jones, a redshirt sophomore on UNC-Chapel Hill’s softball team, to be the bench coach for the 2022 season. Jones will coach the bases while also handling baseball analytics. For Jones, this moment is more significant than her coaching career. It’s a way to show the next generation of females that anything is possible.

“I want to inspire the next generation of young females,” said Jones. “This is a perfect opportunity for me because I never got to see women in baseball really as a kid, so I think being that inspiration for the next generation is probably my biggest goal.”

Decisions like hiring the first-ever female coach in Coastal Plain League history start with inclusive and open-minded individuals like team president Brandon Raphael.

“The idea of it is, is do it the right way. And do it with integrity, character and high class. I think that’s what it is,” said Raphael. “It’s looking at the positions you have available and what you’re looking for and finding the right person for the job. And so no matter who it is, male-female, any type of race, ethnicity, it doesn’t matter. The idea is that we’re trying to put our best team on the field in the front office side so the team over there can put their best side on the field. ”

The addition of female coaches and staff to professional teams is a decent start. But for Jones, she has an even bigger goal in mind for females in the industry.

“I’d really love to see is a female commissioner. I think that would be super cool. I think we have a long way to go before that happens,” said Jones. “But I think that what we’re seeing right now, it’s great. And you want to continue to see that in baseball and all sports. I know NBA is still working towards that. NHL is working towards that. The NFL, like all that kind of stuff, it’s great, and I think that needs to continue to be acknowledged as women in sports. And obviously, it’s difficult, but I think it’s totally worth it, and I think that a lot of sports are starting to catch on.”

Catch Coach Jones and the Bacon on opening night tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Luther Williams Field against the Florence Flamingos.

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