San Diego Padres outfielder Will Venable says the Chicago Cubs made a "great hire" in choosing former Padres bench coach Rick Renteria as their next manager.

"He's a guy that knows the game as much as anyone I've been around," Venable said via phone Thursday. "He's got a fire in him that you love having in the clubhouse ... More than anything he's a teacher. He wants you to learn the game, he wants you to play the game the right way."

Venable has been with the Padres since 2008, the same year Renteria was promoted to major league coach. In 2011, Renteria was named bench coach.

"Sometimes it means he has to be tough on you but those are things he was willing to do for you and the team," Venable said. "He's such a great leader."

Renteria received similar praise from colleagues, including former Cubs outfielder Jacque Jones, who is a coach in the Padres' minor league system.

"He's energetic," Jones said. "He loves what he does. He's fair. The Cubs are getting a good guy to get that done over there ... You know what you're going to get and where you stand. I'm sure the players will give everything they have."