Lake Charles, La. (Jan. 17, 2024) – The Lake Charles Gumbeaux Gators are thrilled to announce the appointment of two seasoned baseball professionals to lead the team in the upcoming 2024 season. Rene Gayo has been appointed as the Head Coach, and Barry Manuel will join as the Assistant Coach. The season is set to kick off on May 30 and run through July 28, promising an exhilarating minor-league baseball experience for both players and fans.

Reflecting on his new role, Gayo commented, “I am excited to take on the responsibility of Head Coach for the Lake Charles Gumbeaux Gators. My focus will be on cultivating talent, fostering a winning culture, and providing an exceptional experience for both players and fans.”

Barry Manuel expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I am honored to join the Lake Charles Gumbeaux Gators as the Assistant Coach. There’s an abundance of passion for baseball in this community, and I look forward to contributing to the growth and success of the team.”

“We are beyond ecstatic about the hiring of Rene Gayo and Barry Manuel.  We have two seasoned veterans that will be a great asset in leading our team,” said Sam Moore, General Manager of the Gumbeaux Gators. “The knowledge and insight they will provide for our players will be second to none. “


Rene Gayo – Head Coach

Rene Gayo, born in Miami Beach, Florida, graduated from Gordon Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois.

Gayo continued his studies at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, where he played on the baseball team and earned a degree in Economics in 1985. Gayo’s playing career included a stint as a catcher in the Cincinnati Reds organization, cut short by knee surgeries in 1987. From 1989 through 1993, Gayo was employed at Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Southwest as an account executive.

Between 1989 and 1992, Gayo served as a part-time scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Subsequently, he transitioned to the Texas Rangers organization, where he continued his role as a part-time scout in 1993. In 1994, Gayo advanced his scouting career by becoming a full-time Scout with the Cleveland Indians organization until 2003. Throughout this period, he served as a full-time Area Scout, overseeing South Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico from 1994 to 2000. In 1999, he earned a promotion to Latin America Cross Checker, expanding his responsibilities to include both Latin America and the US draft.

In 2000, he received another promotion to Director of International Scouting. Subsequently, from 2004 to 2017, Gayo joined the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as their Director of Latin American Scouting. In this role, he dedicated his efforts to managing their extensive scouting staff in Latin America, with a primary focus on acquiring amateur baseball talent in the region.

Rene Gayo, during his tenure as a Scout in the US draft system, played a pivotal role in signing Major Leaguers such as Bruce Aven, Jason Rakers, and Brian Tallet.

As the Director of International Scouting for the Cleveland Indians, he contributed to the signings of players like Danys Báez, Jhonny Peralta, Héctor Luna, Willy Taveras, Juan Lara, Edward Mujica, and Roberto Hernández.

During his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gayo facilitated the signings of several notable players, such as Yoslan Herrera, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Dilson Herrera, Diego Moreno, and Ramón Cabrera.

In 2016, Gayo served as the Bench Coach for the 18 & Under Team USA Club where they participated in the Pan American Games in Mexico securing the Gold Medal. From 2018 to 2020, Gayo collaborated with Ballistic Baseball in Lake Charles focusing on Amateur Select Baseball for age groups 12u, 13u, and 14u.

Since 2021, Gayo has taken on the role of Hitting Coach at St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In 2021, St. Louis Catholic achieved the title of Louisiana 2A Baseball State Champion, and in 2022, the team reached the Semi-Final Game for the State Championship.


Barry Manuel – Assistant Coach

Barry Manuel, a Mamou, Louisiana native, is a graduate of Mamou High School where he began his baseball career. Manuel played for the Louisiana State University baseball team from 1984 to 1987, earning the distinction of being on the first LSU team to reach the College World Series in 1986 followed by a second run in 1987.

At the end of his junior season, he was drafted in the 2nd round of the MLB by the Texas Rangers. He played professionally from 1987 to the early 2000s, participating in 5 Major League seasons between 1991 and 1998 with the Texas Rangers, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 1999, he played one season with the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan.

His coaching journey began as a player and manager for the Bayou Bullfrogs alongside Ron Guidry in the Texas-Louisiana League in 2000. For 21 years, Manuel continued his career at the high school level coaching for Westminster Christian Academy in Opelousas and St. Edmund Catholic School in Eunice. Today, Manuel serves as the Athletic Operations Manager and Assistant Baseball Coach at Louisiana State University Eunice.


About the Lake Charles Gumbeaux Gators The Lake Charles Gumbeaux Gators, the newest addition to the Texas Collegiate League (TCL) for the 2024 season, bring an electrifying baseball experience to Southwest Louisiana. With a diverse roster of players from Division I, II, III, and Junior Colleges, the Gumbeaux Gators showcase elite talent from the region and beyond. For more information, visit and follow on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X (formerly Twitter) at @gumbeauxgators.