EBCA Coach of the Year finalists announced
The 5 finalists for the election of the EBCA Coach of the Year Award are known.
They come from very different backgrounds and have different types of achievement, which should make an interesting election.
EBCA members will soon be invited to vote and decide who will succeed Mauro Mazzotti as EBCA Coach of the Year.
The Coach of the Year will be announced at the 2013 EBCA Convention, held in brussels November 8-10.
Here they are, in alphabetical order:
For the second straight year, the Italian coach is nominated for the award.
His team, T&A San Marino won the Italian Baseball League for the 3rd straight time, a rare feat not accomplished since 1968 in the history of the very competitive IBL.
He also took his team to the finals of pool B at the European Cup in Regensburg, falling one run short of another participation to the European Championship series.
The Czech coach, very involved in youth development enjoyed quite a year.
A member of the Czech National Team U18 staff, he saw his team reach the finals at the European Championships.
The main achievement from this 2013 season is the participation to the Little League World Series in Williamsports, PA, where the Czech Little Leaguers really held their own against Japan and Canada and got the 1st ever European win against the great Lakes team.
Chris higgins helped create the Hünstetten Storms in 2003.
Starting with a youth program, the clubs recorded phenomenal results over the young existence of the ballclub. Results capped by this year's creation of an adult team, formed mostly players who played juniors the year before and got perfect 20-0 record.
Higgins also led his junior team to the German National Championship, taking 5th place behind perennial powerhouses.
Evert Jan 't Hoen
The former Minor Leaguer has being heavily involved in player development for quite some time in the Rotterdam area.
In 2013, he got the opportunity to manage for the Dutch Major League powerhouse Neptunus Rotterdam.
In his first year managing at the top level, he brought the title back to Rotterdam in the highly competitive "Hoofdklasse".
Much like 't Hoen, David Winkler is involved in both the developmental and competitive sides of baseball in his country.
A Czech baseball academy coach and the Czech National U18 Team's head coach, he took the silver medal at the 2013 European Championships.
In addition, he took his team Draci Brno to yet another title in the Czech Extraleague and a 3rd place in the A Pool of the European giving Rimini their only loss in the pool.
2013 EBCA Awards Elections
With the opening of the Winter clinics season, it also time to reflect one the past 12 months.
During the 10th anniversary Convention held in Brussels next month, EBCA will honor 2 persons who deserve recognition for their work.
First, the EBCA Career Achievement Award. The recepient of this award will be someone who has contributed, for many years, to improve European Baseball.
Then, we will honor the EBCA Coach of the Year, a coach who, in the past 12 months, has achieved something special, regardless of the age or the stae of the achievement
For those 2 Awards, you, the baseball enthusiasts, need to send us your recommendations for the persons that you think deserves to be honoured this year.
Brussels Convention Pre-registration is now open
Fall is there.
For some, it's the moment of truth, the moment to capture the reward of a long season of work.
For some it's time to take a well deserved rest and enjoy the MLB play-offs.
But for all, it's time to think about continuing to get better and reload the batteries for next season with late night conversations with baseball buddies.
This year, like every year, EBCA has gathered a strong line-up of speakers.
But this 10th anniversay will be special with probably the most amazing line-up we have ever presented in the place where the most successful EBCA Convention was held, Brussels, capital of Europe.
And the good news is that Registration for the 10th Anniversary Convention is now OPEN.
So sign up now and be a part of it.
Speakers - Brussels 2013
Tenth Anniversary Speakers
O’Connell was recently honored as the 2011 Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association. He was also ABCA National High School Coach of the Year – 2004 and 2010 – and has been named Midwest Coach of the Year four times. In 1995, he skippered the USA Baseball North Team that featured four future major leaguers in the United States Olympic Festival in Colorado.
An accomplished author, O’Connell has published three books with Human Kinetics Press, Coaching Baseball: Techniques and Tactics, one of the top selling baseball handbooks and the textbook for coach licensing in the USA, Coaching Youth Baseball, a manual for youth coaches, and, most recently, Play Ball: 100 Baseball Practice Games.
Coach O’Connell is also a frequent speaker at clinics around the United States having presented at coaching clinics in nine states. For the past thirteen years he has also been Vice-President of International Sports Group, organizing and speaking at winter coaching clinics in Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Ireland and Austria. O’Connell has served as the Lead Envoy Coach in Germany for Major League Baseball since 1993 – spending fifteen of his summers developing players and coaches – and is currently a scout for the Baltimore Orioles.
Besides his avocation in baseball, he has been intensely involved with Milwaukee Irish Fest, the largest Irish music festival in the world, serving on its Board of Directors, supervising Festival activities and booking entertainment. He has been married to his wife Paula for 44 years and has three grown children and five grandchildren.
ABCA Hall of Famer
Dave Keilitz started school at Central Michigan University as a student-athlete in the fall of 1960. He became Central’s first, 1st Team All-American baseball player in 1964. He established 19 game, season, and career hitting records for the Chippewas.
Ron R. Wolforth is the founder and CEO of Pitching Central and Ron Wolforth's Texas Baseball Ranch, LLC in Montgomery, TX. Coach Wolforth has written 5 books on pitching, the latest being his national best-seller The NEW Athletic Pitcher ™.
Since 2003, 76 of Coach Wolforth's clients have been drafted, including the 2011 Golden Spikes Award winner and #3 overall pick, Trevor Bauer. In that same time period, 146 of Coach Wolforth's pitchers have broken the 90mph barrier. He is considered the world's leading expert on the objective measurement of pitcher's performance and movement patterns. No one in the world today has developed more 90 mph arms in a single location since 2003.
Coach Wolforth has consulted for 3 MLB organizations and dozens of NCAA programs. He is a regular featured author in Collegiate Baseball and has been a feature speaker at the American Baseball coaches Association (ABCA) National Convention five times since 1999 as well as a presenter at the American Sports Medicine Institute's “Injuries in Baseball” Annual Conference.
Coach Wolforth has also been utilized by corporate organizations such as AXA Equitable Life as a motivational coach for their branch managers, mentoring them on how to improve performance and contributions from their team members.
His 20 year passion for uncovering possible constraints and limitations to baseball performance as well as identifying the keys to accelerated growth and development stems from the fact he was very dissatisfied with the level of his own performance as a college player and vowed to help other athletes avoid his mistakes and instead maximize their God-given potential. Hundreds of elite athletes from all over the world come to Montgomery, TX to work with Coach Wolforth. Some of his clients include Trevor Bauer, Scott Kazmir, Raul Ibanez and CJ Wilson.
While Coach Wolforth's playing career offered few superlatives, his academic career was quite a different matter. He was named both the Physical Education and the Secondary Education Student of the Year at Sam Houston State University in 1983.
Coach Wolforth is considered a master teacher by many in the baseball community and he has been referred to as “America's Pitching Coach” because of his practical, self-effacing and innovative approach to common performance issues.
Minor League Hitting Coordinator
Springman begins eighth season as minor league hitting coordinator after serving as hitting coach at Triple-A Rochester in 2005.
Hitting coach at Triple-A Salt Lake 1997-2000.
Played on Team USA during the 1977 World Cup Games in Nicaragua...
Selected by Pittsburgh in first round of 1977 Secondary Phase free agent draft.
Named Sporting News first team College All-American Shortstop in 1978.
Signed with California in seventh round of June 1978 free agent draft from Oral Roberts University.
Named Topps’ Single-A Shortstop of the Year in 1979.
Coach of 1992 NCAA Division I National Champions at Pepperdine.
Served as associate scout in Chicago Cubs organization 1995-96.
1985 graduate of University of Oklahoma with a degree in Physical Education.
1994 graduate of Azusa Pacific University with a master’s degree in Education.
Gavin Kelly is the Western European and North African manager for Profile Products LLC, manufacturers of Turface. Gavin has been with Profile for nearly 5 years growing and managing their network of distributors for the region.
Prior to joining Profile, Gavin had established and managed an agronomic company called Turfgrass Consultancy. He ran that for 12 years overseeing the construction and grow-in of many golf and sportsfield projects across Europe.
Gavin currently lives in the beautiful county of Wicklow in Ireland with his wife Niamh and 5 year old son, Luke.
He is a keen sportsman (especially golf, football and tennis) and loves traveling.
Fontys University for Applied Science
Frans Bosch earned a degree in Physical Education in 1977.
Since 1980 he worked in athletics, coaching elite sprinters and Olympic high jumpers and for some years as the national coach for jumping events.
Since 2005 Bosch teaches at the Fontys University for applied sciences in sports, mainly in the field of anatomy, biomechanics, strength training and motor learning.
Bosch has given numerous presentations on training related topics all over the world and frequently works internationally as a consultant in sport and as conference speaker on training related subjects. Clients in recent years are the English Institute of Sports, Wales National Team Rugby and others.
Together with Ronald Klomp he wrote “Running, biomechanics and exercise physiology applied in practice”, published in the Netherlands in 2001 and translated in English in 2005.
In 2012 “Krachttraining en coördinatie, een integratieve benadering” (Strength training and coordination, an integrated approach) was published in the Netherlands.
A sport scientist, Bosch has made his entry in the baseball world after the Dutch Federation knocked on his door to help develop new coaching strategies for the Dutch Baseball Academies.
A renowned speaker all over the world, Bosch was introduced to the baseball crowd at the ECC in Rotterdam where he spoke in 2011 and 2012, busting many coaching myths of a tradition-heavy sport.
Dutch Academies Technical Coordinator
As a player, Nijhoff played 9 years in the Dutch major League.
After getting his degree in Physical Education, he got heavily involved with coaching at various levels in various capacities.
From softball to baseball, in schools, camps, clinics, Nijhoff has gathered a lot of experience in his career.
He became a pitching instructor at Unicorns baseball academy in Rotterdam in 2005 and was a co-founder of the Bixie Baseball Academy in 2006.
He took the Head Coach job at PSV Eindhoven in the Overgangsklasse from 2008 to 2010 before becoming the technical coordinator for all Dutch academies.
Since 2010, he started to work in adding a stri,ng to his bow, with some classes in motor learning and performance. A field in which he worked with Frans Bosch, in order revamp the training methods in the Netherlands.
It certainly paid off as the forward-thinking Dutchman has seen 8 players signed to pro contracts and 14 more who went out to play college ball in the US since taking over at the helm of the academy development system.
Nijhoff is also the coordinator of all Dutch youth national teams and the pitching coach of the AAA team.
Strength & Conditioning Coordinator
In 1994 Jeff Krushell graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary. While attending school he worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the varsity teams as well as professional and nationally ranked athletes.
It was here he started his first company Performax Strength and Conditioning.
Moving to Edmonton in 1996 he worked as the Director of Athletic Development at the Edmonton Sport Institute, training athletes from many sports and developing camps and school programs that still exist today.
Late in 1997 Jeff moved on to the Royal Glenora Club of Edmonton as Director of Sport Performance Development overseeing the strength and conditioning for the Elite Athlete Training Center.
In February of 1998, Jeff was hired by the Toronto Blue Jays as the Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coordinator where he stayed for two full seasons before moving to the Major League Club in 2000. Here, Jeff oversaw the entire strength and conditioning program of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball organization. Also, during this time he became very involved with Baseball Canada and Major League Baseball International promoting strength and conditioning to athletes and coaches.
During the spring of 2003 Jeff stepped down from the Blue Jays to pursue a private business “Krush Sport Performance”.Jeff Krushell, owner of Krush Performance, consults with Major League Baseball International overseeing the Strength and Development program on a global scale.
Jeff has consulted with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL and works with a handful of elite athletes at his home base in Edmonton.
Also, as the Director of Human Sport Performance, promoting cutting edge sport science and drug free sport,Jeff Krushell has developed a professional network of sport contacts that includes Athletes, General Managers, Coaches and Sport Scientists from every discipline, every level of sport and reaching all around the world.