Who is Alyssa Nakken? Giants coach becomes first woman to interview for MLB managerial job

The Giants still appear to be in the early stages of their managerial search, but one candidate has already made history just by interviewing for the role.

San Francisco formally interviewed Alyssa Nakken, according to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, making her the first woman to become an official candidate for an MLB managerial job.

Female coaches have made their mark across the major American professional sports leagues in recent years, but it has been the NBA that has led the charge. Becky Hammon and Dawn Staley both received head coaching interviews in 2021, and Hammon became the first woman in NBA history to serve as acting head coach when Gregg Popovich was ejected from a Spurs game in 2020.

Nakken has already made MLB history with the Giants, and she now has a chance to break a monumental barrier as San Francisco works to find its next manager after firing Gabe Kapler.

MORE: Ranking the top candidates to replace Gabe Kapler

Here’s what you need to know about Nakken and her coaching background.

Who is Alyssa Nakken?

Nakken is just 33 years old, which would make her MLB’s youngest manager if she were promoted by the Giants. 

Nakken was a softball standout at Sacramento State from 2009 to 2012, and she stayed in the game when she became an intern for the Giants in 2014. While Nakken got her start by working in health and wellness for the team, she earned a degree in sports management at the same time and served as chief information officer for the University of San Francisco baseball team.

The Giants promoted Nakken to assistant coach in 2020, making her the first full-time female coach in MLB history. She made her regular season on-field debut in 2022 as acting first base coach, again making history. 

Beyond the historic nature of becoming an MLB manager, landing the Giants’ job would be especially meaningful for Nakken because of her connection to the region. She was born near Sacramento, about two hours from San Francisco, and earned her master’s degree at the University of San Francisco.

Nakken also announced in August that she is pregnant and due to give birth in February. 

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Nakken has spent nearly a decade working in the Giants organization, and the decision to interview her for their managerial job at such a young age is an indication of how highly they view her as a coach.

San Francisco also interviewed third base coach Mark Hallberg and bench coach Kai Correa for the role.

Alyssa Nakken coaching history

While Nakken didn’t have a defined on-field role during Kapler’s four-year tenure, the now-former Giants manager described her as someone who helped the team in various ways.

When Nakken made her on-field debut as acting first base coach in 2022, manager Gabe Kapler said it was “not a foreign spot on the field for her.”

“She does so many other things well that aren’t seen. So it’s nice to see her kind of be right there in the spotlight and do it on the field,” Kapler told reporters.

Whether Nakken emerges as a serious candidate for the Giants’ managerial job or not, it certainly seems as though she will one day be a more visible presence in the game. 

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