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Nelson Gord

Notre Dame College Prep - Head Coach

Owner & President of Play Ball USA

Great Lakes NTIS 13U Head Coach

Pitch & Hit Club and ABCA Member



Gord began his coaching career at Play Ball USA in Des Plaines, IL and purchased the facility from previous ownership in 2008. He has coached at every level of amateur baseball including two years in the college ranks (Harper/2005 & Oakton/2009). Nelson’s coaching career followed a successful playing career which started at Buffalo Grove High School where he was an All-Area player and the Mid-Suburban League East Player of the Year in 1999. The numbers he put up as a senior at BGHS earned him a scholarship to play NCAA Division I baseball at the University of Illinois @ Chicago. While at UIC Nelson was twice named to the All-Horizon League Team and started for the Flames for four years at 5 different positions (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, and SS). The versatility Gord showed as a college player allowed him to sign a professional contract with the Schuamburg Flyers in June, 2004. Nelson found himself playing all over the field in his 3 years as a Flyer and eanred a spot on the 2006 Northern League All-Star team after setting career highs in hits, stolen bases (27), and set a all-time Northern League record by being hit by 28 pitches. After the 2006 season Gord signed a contract with the Houston Astros and went to spring training with the club in 2007 as a catcher. He then finished the season with the Kansas City T-Bones where he set career highs in 2Bs, HRs and RBIs. On September 2, 2007 Gord was honored and played all 9 positions in a 9 inning game. He also went 2 for 3 in the game, capping off what was to many a mediocre career, but to him a “dream come true”.


Gord’s passion is in helping kids both on and off the field. His work with groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Pitch & Hit Club of Chicago, the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association) and the APBPA speaks volume about his love for our national pastime. Nelson and his wife, Sarah, reside in Wheeling and they have a daughter, Lacey Marie, who was born in June 2009.


 


 

Jim Richardson “JR”

Tiffin University - Recruiting Coordinator & Assistant Coach



Richardson has been coaching amateur baseball since 2001 when he assisted Bill Angelo at Elgin Community College. During his tenure at ECC the Spartans set team records for most wins (54), runs scored (547), hits (680) and stolen bases (188).  They also won four Sectional titles, three Regional Championships, one District Championship and made back to back appearances in the NJCAA Division II College World Series.  From 2007-2012 Coach Richardson has served as the Hitting Coach and Varsity Assistant at St. Charles North HS (IL). Since joining the program Coach Richardson's NorthStars have set team records for most wins (33), batting average (.385), hits (394), slugging percentage (.531), on-base percentage (.464), rbi's (281), doubles (76) and homeruns (27). They have also won 3 regional championships in the last 5 years and 2 Upstate Eight Conference Championships.


Prior to coaching at Tiffin Richardson served as an Assistant Coach at Judson University (NAIA).  In 2013 Richardson helped lead the Judson Eagles to a 46-17 overall record highlighted by a CCAC Conference Championship, CCAC Tournament Championship and a NAIA World Series Opening Round Championship appearance.  In addition to setting a school record 18 game win streak Judson finished the 2013 season ranked #22 in the NAIA National Poll while finishing top 20 (nationally) in 14 different offensive categories and 5 different individual pitching categories.


Richardson currently serves as the Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach at Tiffin University.  Coach Richardson has earned an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts, a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with an advanced certificate in Human Resource Management and a Master’s Degree in Psychology.  His Master’s Thesis entitled, "What Makes Average Baseball Players Above Average" focused on one of the most overlooked aspects of athletic skill acquisition, PERCEPTION.


 


 

Jim Hall

Lockport HS (Retired)

ABCA Hall of Fame Member

IHSBCA Hall of Fame Member

BCA Hall of Fame Member



Coach Jim Hall graduated from Marist High School and Illinois State University as a baseball and football player. He taught one year at Marist and then moved to Lockport High School as a varsity baseball and football assistant coach. He became head baseball coach in 1990 at

 

Lockport and gained success with back to back 8A football championships in 2003-04 and the  AA State baseball championship in 2005. In Jan. 2011, Coach Hall was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.

 

Since his retirement from teaching in 2006, Coach Hall has coached Team Illinois and internationally, taken teams to Italy, Japan, and Aruba, Dominican Republic and most recently to Puerto Rico. He also is a sought after clinic speaker and instructor. Additionally, Coach Hall gives individual hitting and fielding instruction.


 


 

Terry Ayers

Fenton HS (Retired)

St. Charles North HS - Pitching Coach

ABCA Hall of Fame Member

IHSBCA Hall of Fame Member



Coach Ayers loves the game of baseball and has dedicated his life to coaching. After graduating from Western Michigan University in 1966, where he played for ABCA Hall of Fame Coach Charlie Maher, Terry received his Masters of Arts degree from Northwestern in 1970 and was a graduate assistant in football. His high school coaching career began in 1972 as head baseball coach at Fenton High School in Bensenville Illinois, where he had a lifetime career record of 334 and 231 until retiring in 1989. After Fenton, Terry coached AAU baseball taking them to the National tournament three times and had a lifetime record of 198 and 79.

 

In 1990 Terry became the regional Director for Doyle Baseball School. As regional director he was the lead instructor in hundreds of baseball schools for players and coaches. Giving coaching seminars in Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. He also is a member of the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago where he serves as Secretary and Board of Directors. He co-chairs the annual Showcase for the Club. In 2009 received the Pitch and Hit Club Charlie Hum Service Award for contributions to the community service in baseball.

 

Terry has spoken at several state coaches clinics Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, as well as the National Baseball Coaches Clinic in 1999, as well as the American Baseball Coaches Association Clinic in 2001. Terry has attended every clinic since 1973. He serves on the ABCA Hall of Fame Committee for the past twenty-one years also, served on the exhibitors committee for five years prior to being on the Hall of Fame Committee.

 

In 1999 Terry was elected into the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He received the Len Diforte Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Other honors are coaching in the Pan American Games and International baseball in Europe.

 

In 2006, Terry came out of retirement after his son was finished playing college baseball at the University of Louisville. He is currently the volunteer assistant Pitching Coaching at St. Charles North High School, in St. Charles Illinois. Helping the team win a Conference Championship in 2007 as well as the Regional Championship in 2007 and 2008. The team has compiled a record of 78 and 29 with a team era of 2.15 this past season.

 

Terry lives in Elgin Illinois with his wife Carole, they have two children, daughter Sarah and son Stephen. Both children are married and he is now a grandfather too.


 


 

Mike Marshall

11 Year MLB Professional

World Series Champion - 88’ Los Angeles Dodgers



Marshall was an All-Star first baseman and outfielder who played eleven seasons in the Big Leagues.  Marshall played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, both of the National League, and the Boston Red Sox and California Angels, both of the American League. He also played one season in Nippon Professional Baseball for the Nippon Ham Fighters in 1992. Currently, Marshall serves as president and general manager of the Chico Outlaws of the North American League.


One of the heroes of LA's 1988 World Series Championship (He homered in Game 2), Marshall has managed or been an administrator in the minor leagues for the last seven years.  Marshall successfully led the Yuma Scorpions to the Championship of the Arizona Winter League in February.


 


 

John Sarna

Hampshire HS - Head Coach



Sarna began his high school coaching career in 1996 at Rolling Meadows High School in Rolling Meadows, IL.  Previous to that he was in the Player Development Department with the Florida Marlins as an Athletic Trainer.  Since departing Rolling Meadows in 1999 he spent a bulk of his career as the Varsity Assistant at H.D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin, IL.  He ended his tenure at H.D. Jacobs on November 8th, 2011 to take over the head coaching reins of the Hampshire High School baseball program.
 
Coach Sarna began his international baseball experience in 1996 with a trip to China, then in 2003 to Aruba, following up with back to back trips to the Czech Republic and Italy in 2004 and 2005.
 
He has represented the White Sox Scouting Department in the Area Code Games, the Double Duty Classic, the Mariners Cup, the Mentoring Viable Prospects Tournament, and in the 2011 WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Florida.
 
In 2006 he received the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago Charlie Hum Service Award for his contributions to baseball through his community service.  In 2009 he joined the Advisory Board for the Pitch & Hit Club.  He also sits on the Sandlot Baseball board as he founded the Silver & Black Series held every June since 2003.  The Silver & Black Series established itself as the premiere event in the Chicago land area as 31 alumni were selected in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
 
John and his wife, Erica, reside in Walworth, Wisconsin with their two children, Logan who was born in February 2006 and Lucy who was born in February 2008.  He also has earned two masters degrees, one in Curriculum & Instruction and another in Educational Leadership.


 
 

Peter Caliendo

Owner & President of Caliendo Sports International

Current Technical Commissioner for the IBAF (International Baseball Federation)



Peter Caliendo‘s experience and expertise in the development of baseball skills for both players and coaches is among the most extensive found anywhere in the world.  He has shared his vast knowledge of the game around the globe earning immeasurable respect from the worldwide baseball community. His devotion to the game of baseball is greatly admired by all who have crossed his path.

 

Pete is currently the President of Caliendo Sports International, a global baseball organization specializing in the training of individuals, teams and coaches, as well as dealing with professional baseball operations worldwide. Caliendo Sports, travels with teams and players all over the world to bring a valuable international and cultural experience through sports. Pete has specialized in the training of volunteer baseball coaches for more than 30 years, advocating and helping youth coaches across the USA and around the world to better train young players.

 

Having studied the development of youth coaching at the legendary Mickey Owen Baseball School as well as Grand Slam USA, Billy Williams and Doyle baseball schools, Caliendo is a strong proponent for a national certification program for volunteers in baseball. To support this theory, he has produced 5 baseball instructional DVD’s (“Coaching Made Easy”) used as a benchmark resource by coaches around the world. Pete partnered with Baseball Coaches Video Library out of Canada to create an on-line baseball coaches certification program. Pete presented twice at the National High School Coaches Baseball Clinic as well as 14 additional High School Association Clinics and has presented in 20 different countries around the world including the (EBCA), European Baseball Coaches Association clinic.

 

During his 11 years as Technical Commissioner for the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), Pete served as the head of the Technical Committee for the 2009 historic World Baseball Cup in Europe which was held in 7 countries with 22 nations participating and the 2011 Pan Am games. Pete was also a part of the baseball delegation to the Olympic Games in Beijing, China and for the Olympic Qualifier in Havana, Cuba. He also serves on the IBAF Steering Committee.

 

Pete served as the Director of The Pan American Youth Baseball Association, an organization that represented the United States in the Youth Pan American Baseball Youth Championships (COPABE). Along with winning 3 gold medals, including one over Cuba, his six year involvement with the 16 and under program produced over 20 players in major league baseball. His experience also includes coaching the Belgium Baseball Federation National Teams. In 1999 he was on the coaching staff of Team USA, a team with professionals that competed in Australia’s Intercontinental Cup. He also served as Director for USA Athletes International’s Baseball Operations. While living in Europe Pete became an associate scout with the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

After a European tour Pete returned to the U.S. to work in professional baseball coaching for the Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks in the independent Northern League.  He moved with the franchise from Thunder Bay to Schaumburg, Illinois as Director of Baseball Operations and Coach for the Schaumburg Flyers.  During his tenure, over 20 players signed with major league organizations. The Flyers appeared in the playoffs in their opening season. He also served as Player Procurement Director for the North Shore Spirit in the independent Northeast League, putting together the full roster of 22 players that went on to the Northeast League Championship Series and later as President of the Calgary Baseball Club also in the Northern League.

 

As of 2009, Pete is heading up the Great Lakes Region for (NTIS) USA Baseball’s National Team Identification Program for potential national team players. The Great Lakes Region consists of 6 states, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Tryouts for potential national team players are held in each state at the ages of 17u, 15u and 13u under.

 

Pete currently serves as a Board Member for the Chicago Baseball Museum. Caliendo also served 8 years as President of the prestigious Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago, a professional baseball organization which supports baseball at all levels and raises funds for worthy causes, most notably the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation. Pete continues to serve as immediate Past President and Board Member of the Pitch and Hit Club. He has also served his community as a board member of the Greater Woodfield Sports Council, and has been the recipient of the prestigious “David Award” from the Italian American Association recognizing business excellence.

 

In January 2011 Pete Caliendo received the American Baseball Coaches Association Meritorious Service award. The ABCA is the largest baseball organization of college and high school coaches in the U.S. Along with the Pitch and Hit Club Paul " Dizzy" Trout Ambassador award.

 

Pete is currently working on hosting international baseball tournaments throughout the USA and organizing a national coach’s certification program.

 

Pete would like to thank his mom and dad, Vivian and Sam Caliendo, Brother Paul and wife Beverley for their continual love and support.


 


 

Mike Schultz

Roosevelt University - Assistant Coach




Mike Schultz is in his second season as assistant coach with the Roosevelt baseball program after spending three years in a similar capacity at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind.

 

His expertise with the Wabash pitching staff helped the team earn its first two North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament berths in school history following the 2009 and 2010 seasons. During his tenure, Schultz mentored four All-NCAC pitchers, two NCAC Pitchers of the Week, and one pitcher that signed professionally with the Gary Railcats of the Northern League. At Wabash, Schultz also had duties with recruiting, field maintenance, and youth camps.

 

In the summer of 2009, Schultz also served as the pitching coach for the Waterloo Bucks in the Northwoods League. Four Bucks pitchers under Schultz in 2009 were selected in the 2011 MLB Draft, including 2nd rounder Lenny Linsky from the University of Hawaii by the Tampa Bay Rays. In total, 10 players on the 2009 Bucks team were selected in the June draft.

 

Schultz is currently the Manager of the Des Plaines Patriots in the Metropolitan Chicago Summer Baseball League of Illinois. The Metro League is a wood bat summer league comprised of only college eligible players. In the Patriots inaugural season, they won the MCSBL title and placed 5th in the AAABA National Tournament. On the year, the Patriots were 30-14-1. The Patriots had similar success in the 2011 campaign with the Patriots qualifying for their second straight AAABA national tournament appearance with a 31-18 overall record.


 


 

Don Freeman

Clark College - Head Coach

USA Baseball (2003) Gold Medal Manager

USA Baseball (2000) Gold Medal Pitching Coach

13 Year Evaluator USA Baseball Selection Committee



Baseball has been a major factor in Coach Freeman’s life since he took the field playing for his Cub Scout team in a game across the border in neighboring White Rock, British Columbia. He played college baseball at Spokane Falls CCC and Eastern Washington University prior to beginning a coaching a 40-year coaching career. Freeman was a graduate assistant at Michigan State University when future World Series star Kirk Gibson began his baseball career in 1978. Since that time he has coached 25+ players that have made it to the major leagues through his high school teams and coaching with USA Baseball.


With USA Baseball and the 16U program, Coach Freeman has been a head coach (2003 World Champions, Taiwan), and pitching coach (2000 gold medal – Mexico and silver medal – Venezuela) in the COPABE Championships. He served as an assistant for the 2007 World Champions in Venezuela and again was the head coach in Venezuela for the bronze medal winning USA Baseball women’s National Team in 2010. He has served for the past 13 years as an evaluator on the USA Baseball selection committee for the 16U national teams.


His international background is quite extensive. Coach Freeman has taken teams to Australia eleven times and has represented MLB in Germany working with MLB International in 2009 and 2010. He has been a clinician at clinics in Leksund, Sweden; Bratislava, Slovakia; Brisbane and Geelong, Australia, and has spoken at the Baseball Coaches of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada five times. His expertise has been recognized by coaches associations all over the US with speaking engagements in Arizona, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Georgia, and Kansas. In addition he has been a speaker at the ABCA and BCA national conventions for those highly regarded coaching associations.


Coach Freeman has previously served as the president of the Washington Baseball HS Coaches association (1991-2001) and has been on several state committees regarding the enhancement of baseball. He has served on the ABCA High School all American and Coach of the Year Committee since 2006 and is currently the chair of the committee. He has been a member of the ABCA Ethics Committee since 2010 and began his ABCA committee work with the ABCA High School Committee in 2004.

His long career has been recognized with many awards from several national organizations and has been elected to the Washington Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in two sports (baseball & gymnastics).


Coach Freeman is currently the head baseball coach at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. He and his wife, Roxy live in Battle Ground, Washington. He has two daughters, Tana and Traci and two grandchildren, Halee (9) and Zachery (6).


 


 

Ryan Nesbitt

Wabash College - Assistant Coach

Indiana Thunder - Assistant Coach



Current Assistant Baseball Coach Wabash College (Crawfordsville, IN) – Current Assistant Baseball Coach Indiana Thunder (Travel Organization) – Former Assistant Baseball Coach Schlarman High School (Danville, IL) – 2009 Graduate of University of Illinois (Champaign, IL) – Currently lives in Crawfordsville, IN.


 


 

Dino Moran

Stevenson High School - Assistant Coach




Coach Moran currently teaches physical education and is an assistant on the varsity and sophomore baseball teams at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL. In 2007 Coach Moran and his partner opened 3D-Baseball in Elk Grove Village, IL where he has trained many high school players who have gone on to play college baseball from junior college to Division 1 and some signing professional contracts. Numerous travel teams call 3D-Baseball their winter training home.


 


 

Darin Everson

Elite Baseball Academy Director



Elite Baseball Academy Director.  Fifteen Years of Experience in Professional Baseball as player, scout, hitting coach and manager;  Elite Baseball Academy/Midwest Catcher Camps Owner and Director.  Washington Wild Things Minor League Manager.  Florida Marlins Minor League Manager; Florida Marlins Minor League Hitting Coach.  Baltimore Orioles Associate Scout; Madison Area Technical College Assistant Coach.  Premier Collegiate Summer League Manager & Hitting Coach (Alaska Baseball League & Northwoods League); High School Head Coach; Youth Baseball Director; Youth Baseball Coach.  Played seven years of professional minor league baseball, including stints with three organizations: Montreal Expos, Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox.  Played in the Frontier & Northern Leagues. Played four years of college baseball, graduated from Mayville State University (ND) with B.S. of Education. Played H.S. baseball at Ada High School (MN).



 


 
 

Jorge Jaime

Founder of the J & M Baseball Academy

Yuma Yankees - Head Coach




Founder of the J & M Baseball Academy in 2010 and Head Baseball Coach of the Yuma Yankees Traveling Baseball Team since 2008.  Received Master’s Degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from Northern Arizona University in 2007. Graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Teaching and a Coaching Minor in 1996. Work Spring Training Camp in Mesquite, Nevada since 2008 to present.  Worked ABC Camps in Arizona, Texas and Washington in summer of 2006 - 2008.  Mountain West Stars Coach 2009-Present.  Took Team Arizona to Cary, North Carolina for NTIS Trials 2010.  Team Arizona Stars Coach 2009-Present.  Head Baseball Coach San Luis High School 2002-2006.  Won National Tournament 16-20 years old Tijuana, Baja California 2004.  Cibola High School Assistant Baseball Coach Junior Varsity Baseball 1999-2001.  Cibola High School Varsity Assistant Pitching Coach 1998.  Assisted in development of pitching staff all levels 1998-2001.  Babe Ruth Summer League Coach 1998-2005.  Coach 16 year old team to State Championship 2003.  Runner up in Pacific Southwest Baseball Regional 2003.  Played professional baseball with the Ogden Raptors Pioneer League 1995.  Graduate Assistant Baseball Coach BYU, 1995-1996.  Received Athletic Scholarship BYU, 1993-1994.  Played on Western Athletic Conference Championship Team 1994.  Won Divisional Titles in Eastern Division of Western Athletic Conference, 1993 & 1994.  All WAC Selection as a pitcher in 1994.  Received Athletic Scholarship AWC, 1990.  Played Varsity Baseball at Yuma High School 1988 & 1989.  All Arizona First team, 1989.  Yuma High School Most Valuable Baseball player, 1989.  All Metro First Team, 1988 & 1989.


 


 

Mike Pinto

Manager - Southern Illinois Miners [Frontier League]



Mike Pinto is the only manager in Southern Illinois Miners history. He joined the team for the inaugural 2007 season as their field manager and director of baseball operations, and has led the Miners to a 350-242 record over their six seasons. The Miners .591 winning percentage is the 2nd best in the Frontier Leagues 19 year existence and are the only team to never have a losing record. Mike is the league’s winningest manager since joining the league in 2007 and he ranks fifth on the league’s all-time wins list. He has guided the Miners to playoff appearances in four of the teams six seasons and in 2012 led the Miners to their first ever Frontier League Championship.


Under his tutelage the Miners have seen 40 all-stars in the last 6 seasons, as well as two Pitchers of the Year and one league MVP.  23 former Miners have signed with major league organizations, including Clay Zavada who reached the major leagues in 2008.  Three of Mike’s coaches have moved on to major league organizations in the last 6 years.  During the 2010 season, the Miners also put together a 20-game winning streak, the longest in Frontier League history, en route to setting the 2nd best record in league history.  In 2011, Mike signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him in place as the Miners manager through the 2016 season.


Mike has previously been honored by the Pitch and Hit Club while at Oakton Community College as Junior College Coach of the Year in 2004.


 


 

John Vodenlich

University of Wisconsin Whitewater - Head Coach




Entering his ninth season at the helm of the UW-Whitewater baseball program, John Vodenlich has taken the Warhawks to heights unreached prior to his arrival on campus.  While the Whitewater program has had longstanding success, Vodenlich has set a new standard, turning the Warhawks into a NCAA Division III college baseball power.

During Vodenlich’s eight seasons as head coach, the Warhawks have won six WIAC championships and appeared in the NCAA Division III College World Series four times, including winning the 2005 NCAA Division III National Championship.
Vodenlich has been on the coaching staff for all 10 of Whitewater’s winingest seasons, with seven of the 10 coming during his time as head coach. During the 2000’s, Whitewater has the 11th most victories in NCAA Division III.  Off the field, Vodenlich has been honored as the WIAC Coach of the Year four times, was named the 2005 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and has been honored as the NCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 2004, 2008 and 2010.

In 2007, Vodenlich was inducted into the UW-Whitewater Athletic Hall of Fame and has been awarded with the WBCA College Coach of the Year in 2004, 2008 and 2010, as well as being named the WBCA’s Man of the Year in 2005.
Players coming to play under Vodenlich can expect to grow thanks to his determined player development exertions. Eight athletes have developed into All-Americans during Vodenlich’s tenure.


Since joining the Whitewater program as a player in 1989 and the coaching staff in 1994, 27 former Warhawks have signed professional contracts, the first being former Major League closer Bob Wickman, who Vodenlich caught at Whitewater.
In addition to his great impact on the game in the United States, Vodenlich also is an internationally known clinician, conducting coaching clinics in Germany, England, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Vodenlich was one of the best players to ever take the field for Whitewater. Playing from 1989-1992, Vodenlich finished with a .397 career batting average, good for third all-time in school history. His .456 average in 1991 is the second best single season average in program history.  Vodenlich was an ABCA All-American in 1991 and 1992, the first two-time All-American at Whitewater.  Following his collegiate career, Vodenlich went on to play professionally in Europe, winning the Slovenian National Championship in 1994.  Vodenlich joined Jim Miller’s coaching staff as an assistant coach in 1994 and stayed on the staff until 1998 when he was named the head coach at Edgewood College.  Prior to Vodenlich’s tenure at Edgewood, the Eagles had an all-time record of 33-133 and never had seen a winning season.  Vodenlich needed just two seasons to change that, setting a school record for wins in his first season, but then shattering it the following season, giving Edgewood its first winning campaign in program history.  Following the 1999 season, Vodenlich returned to Whitewater and rejoined Miller’s staff as an assistant coach.  With Miller’s retirement coming following the 2003 season, Whitewater didn’t have to look far to find its seventh head coach in school history.  It’s a hire the school certainly hasn’t regretted.

Naming Vodenlich head coach for the 2004 season immediately paid off for the university as the Warhawks set a new school record for wins and made just their second trip to the NCAA Division III College World Series.
2004 as a successful season, but 2005 was magical.  Under Vodenlich’s guidance, Whitewater set a new school record for wins with 45, fewest losses with 7 and made another trip to Appleton for the College World Series. This time around the Warhawks weren’t denied and won their first National Championship.  Whitewater returned to the College World Series in 2008 and again in 2011.

With a B.A. in marketing and public relations from UW-Whitewater in 1992, Vodenlich earned his master's in business administration from the university in 1994.  John is married to Jennifer Bollis, a former UW-Whitewater basketball player who teaches physical education at Kettle Moraine High School. Mr. and Mrs. Vodenlich have a daughter, Emma, and a son, Sam, who serves as Whitewater’s bat boy.



 


 

Tom O’Connell

Catholic Central High School - Head Coach




The first high school coach ever elected President of the American Baseball Coaches Association, Tom O'Connell has spent 41 years coaching baseball. From 1969 - 2000 he coached at Pulaski High School in Milwaukee, where his teams won more games than any sport in the school's history. Ten years ago, he took over as coach at Catholic Central High School in Burlington, Wisconsin and continued his success there. His Hilltopper teams have made the State quarterfinals the last seven straight years and have won four Wisconsin State Championships in that time - 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010. O'Connell was recently named the Diamond Sports National High School Coach of the Year by the ABCA for 2010, the second time he has been so honored. He has also been named Midwest Coach of the Year four times. In 1995, he skippered the USA Baseball North Team in the United States Olympic Festival in Colorado that featured four future major leaguers.


Long involved in the ABCA, O'Connell chaired its High School Division from 1984-1996 and now serves on the Board of Directors and heads the Ethics in Coaching Award Committee. He presided over the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association and organized their successful Clinic and Convention for twenty years and, in 1991, was named their Man of the Year He has been inducted into three Halls of Fame: the Old Time Baseball Players Hall of Fame in Milwaukee, the WBCA Hall of Fame, and in 2007 became only the 16th high school coach to ever be inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in its 64-year history. An accomplished author, O'Connell has published three books with Human Kinetics Press, Coaching Baseball: Techniques and Tactics, the textbook for coach licensing in the USA, Coaching Youth Baseball, a manual for youth coaches, and most recently the best selling, Play Ball: 100 Baseball Practice Games. For the past eleven years he has been an ISG officer and has organized winter coaching clinics in Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Ireland and Austria. O'Connell has served as an Envoy Coach for Major League Baseball since 1993 - spending twelve of his summers developing players and coaches in Europe - and is a scout for the Baltimore Orioles


 


 

Mark Fuller

Cumberland High School- Head Baseball Coach & Athletic Director




The Head Baseball Coach at Cumberland High School for the past 33-years, Fullers teams are 468-237 and have won nine Conference Titles, 12 Regional Titles, and have made the State Tournament four times, finishing State runner-up in 1998.


He has served as the American Legion Coach for 34-years with an overall record of 524-321. The team was Third at the Legion State Tournament in 2000.


Fuller is a past President of the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association and current member of the WBCA Executive Board, of which he has been a part for the past 26 years. Fuller was named Wisconsin’s Baseball Man of the Year in 1989 and Amateur Baseball Coach of the Year in 1987 for his work with Youth sports. He was named to the State Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 and is also a member of the Cumberland Baseball Hall of Fame.


Fuller is currently the Clinic Director for the annual Wisconsin State Clinic, which draws over 650 coaches, a co-director and original member of the All-Star Classic for graduating H.S. seniors, heads the Wisconsin spring baseball state rankings, and chairs the Wisconsin Coaches Hall of Fame committee.


He began the Wisconsin State Baseball Yearbook in 1982, which he eventually co-authored with his assistant coach Joe Waite. The baseball preview yearbook of Wisconsin’s high school and college teams and top players, is considered one of the best in the United States and was accepted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame Library in 2010.


Fuller has spoken at numerous Coaching Clinics across the United States and Canada, including Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, and Vancouver, Canada. He has spoken alone or with co-speaker Marty Paulsen at three ABCA Clinics and three BCA Clinics. Together Paulsen and Fuller are in the process of writing a baseball instructional book called, “Baseball, the Right Way.”


Fuller still teaches instructional baseball to Little League players during the summer for three hours a day, three days a week. He worked the University of Minnesota Baseball Camps for 10 years, serves as Tour Guide for two Jay Buckley Major League Baseball Tour buses each year, worked in ticket sales for the Minnesota Twins for eight years, was a bird dog scout for the Dodgers under Dale McReynolds, and was an AV person for ABCA Clinics or six years, serving first under the Jim Dimick Presidency. He has attended each ABCA Clinic except one since 1984.


Fuller started the Cumberland Baseball Coaches Clinic in 1983, which will celebrate its 30th year in 2013. He worked with the City of Cumberland, the Cumberland School District, and the Cumberland Baseball Association to fundraise and build Islander Park in Cumberland, a four-field complex, in the city in 2000. The main baseball field received the ABCA 2002 Turface Field Maintenance of the year award at the San Diego Clinic.


Fuller has traveled to Europe twice for the International Sports Group putting on Coaching Clinics in Croatia, London, England, Hungary, and Slovenia. He authored “Forty Years of Cheers” in 1983, a local book on baseball history in his community of Cumberland from 1940-1980.


 


 

Bill Olson

Dean of the Ultimate Baseball Academy

Creighton University Pitching Coach (Retired), Northwest HS (Retired)

ABCA Hall of Fame Member, BCA Hall of Fame Member

Three Time National Coach of the Year



During Coach Olsonʼs 52 year coaching career, he has accumulated a vast amount of honors and accomplishments. While he coached and taught at Northwest High School, he coached his teams to SIX HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS AND ONE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP IN 1983. Nationally in 1984 the team was ranked as #2 and in 1985 the team was ranked as #3. Additionally, in 1994, The Northwest High School Baseball Team was rated nationally. Bill and his teams accumulated a total of 1500 career wins (76% of total games played).


Bill was awarded National Coach of the Year in 1983 for the American Baseball Coaches Association and the “Coach of the Year” for the National Baseball Coaches Assn. in 1991 and 1995. Bill was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Assn. Hall of Fame in 1993. He was in the inaugural Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1999.

Bill has also been inducted into the Nebraska and Omaha Sports Hall of Fame.


In the summer, Bill coached the American Legion Team. His team won EIGHT AMERICAN LEGION STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS. His American Legion Teams placed Third and Fourth in the American Legion World Series in 1985 and 1994.


Upon retirement from the Omaha Public Schools, Bill was asked to help and assist with the Creighton University Baseball Team. He served as the Pitching Coach for six years. During his tenure at Creighton University they went to two regional tournaments. Bill also responded to a Call for Help by the Roncalli Baseball Team in Omaha, NE. Bill is currently helping as a Pitching Coach with the Roncalli Baseball Team. The team was state runner-up in 2012. Coach Olson was selected to coach the USA Junior Teams 1996-1999. The team finished with 3 Silver Medals and one Bronze Medal. Ten of these former players played/playing in the Major Leagues. Coach Olson also coached his son Gregg, a 14 year Major League Veteran and a 1988 Rookie of the Year.


Community Leaders approached Bill on being involved in a Baseball Academy. Bill is serving as the Dean of the Academy which is located in a specially designed facility consisting of 15000 sq. feet. The Academy is home to the College World Series as well as many of the local teams. The Academy enables the teams to play or practice 12 months of the year.



 


 

Bill Percy

Head Baseball Coach - St. Mary’s High School (Colorado Springs, CO)



Bill Percy's influence in the game of baseball has spanned the globe. Since 1990 Coach Percy has travelled to 4 continents coaching, teaching, and sharing the gospel of baseball to players and coaches worldwide. Since 1997 he has been a Major League Baseball Envoy Coach with assignments in Croatia, Serbia, Austria and Hungary. From 1998-2005 he served as Head Coach of the Croatian Senior National Team and helped them attain A Pool status where they remain today. During that period, in 2002, Percy was the recipient of the Julio Puente Envoy Coach of the Year Award winner. 


Back in the states, Coach Percy is active in his home state of Colorado as the Head Baseball Coach at St. Mary's High School in Colorado Springs where he has served since 2007. He is also the Director of Coaches Clinics for the Colorado High School Baseball Coaches Association and has served that post since 1996. He is a past president of that association and in 2010 was inducted in to the Colorado Dugout Clubs inaugural Hall of Fame Class. During that same period Percy was named by the American Baseball Coaches Association as a Regional High School Coach of the Year in 1999.

Along with his baseball prowess, Coach Percy has spent over 35 years in public and private education. He retired from public education in 2005 while chair of the Social Studies Department at Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs. He also taught at St. Mary's High School from 2005-2010. 


During his 16 years at Mitchell, Percy was the Head Baseball Coach from 1990-2000. During that period his teams were a regular at the State Baseball Tournament, highlighted by back to back State Championship participants in 1992 and 1993. 

It was also during this period that Coach Percy became involved with USA Baseball. In 1990 he coached a Junior Pan Am Team to a silver medal in Sao Paolo, Brazil and just 3 years later a gold medal in the same category in Chicago. In 1996 Percy was the Head Coach of the USA Youth 15u team competing in the IBAF World Championships in Chiba, Japan. 

Another highlight included an opportunity as an assistant coach with the USA Olympic Sports Festival East Team in 1995 competing in Colorado Springs. During these many tours of duty Coach Percy had the opportunity to coach a number of players that went on to illustrious careers in Major League Baseball. He also served on the All American and High School Coach of the Year Committee with the ABCA from 1998-2005. 


Coach Percy's coaching career began in 1974 at Florida Southern College after a playing career that saw him compete in the NCAA Division 2 World Series. His Southern team won a National Championship in 1972 and have won 9 total since 1971.  Percy went on to earn his Masters Degree in Education from Central Missouri State University in 1975 while serving as a graduate assistant baseball coach.  He began his high school teaching and coaching career in 1976 in Colorado Springs where he still resides today with his wife of 30 years, Marian. Together they have 3 children living in Colorado, Florida, and Michigan.  Along with coaching and his MLB Envoy work, Coach Percy is active as a clinician, author and organizer of baseball coaching seminars throughout Colorado, the United States and Europe.