Dauer replaces John Gibbons, who took the managerial job with the Blue Jays on Nov. 20 after guiding the Missions to a 60-80 Texas League record in his only season with the club.
"We're fortunate to have someone with Rich's experience and expertise available," said Padres vice president of player development and international scouting Randy Smith.
Dauer comes to San Antonio carrying 26 years of coaching experience, including 22 in the big leagues. The 60-year-old native of Colton, Calif., spent the past seven in the Colorado organization and was a third-base and infield coach at the big league level since 2009. He previously served as a bench coach for the Indians (1990-91), Royals (1997-2002) and Brewers (2003-05).
"We are honored to have Rich as our new manager," Missions general manager David Gasaway said in a statement. "He brings with him a wealth of Major League experience, and we look forward to him guiding our team in the 2013 season."
Dauer also has worked as a Minor League coach for five organizations. His only managerial experience is a 70-72 mark with the Dodgers' Class A San Bernardino affiliate in 1987, the year he began his coaching career.
The Orioles picked Dauer 24th overall in the 1974 Draft after an All-American career at the University of Southern California, and he went on to play with Baltimore from 1976-85, winning a World Series in 1983. Dauer put up a career .257/.310/.343 batting line but holds American League single-season fielding records for consecutive errorless games (86) and consecutive errorless chances (425) at second base, marks he set in 1978.
Dauer's staff with the Missions will include third-year pitching coach Jimmy Jones and first-year hitting coach Jacque Jones, who played 10 big league seasons as an outfielder.
Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.