USA Baseball Finalizes 2010 Collegiate National Team Coaching Staff

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

USA Baseball Traditional Logo for Web (DURHAM, N.C.) – USA Baseball announced the remaining two members of the 2010 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team coaching staff on Tuesday. The coaches will team with manager Bill Kinneberg and pitching coach Dave Serrano next summer.

Joining Kinneberg (Utah) and Serrano (Cal State Fullerton) are assistant coaches Nino Giarratano (San Francisco) and Ed Blankmeyer (St. John’s). Blankmeyer will be making his first appearance in the red, white and blue, while this will mark the second stint with Team USA for Giarratano, following his work as an assistant coach on Rob Walton’s Collegiate National Team staff in 2008.

University of San Francisco (USF) head baseball coach Nino Giarratano prepares for his 12th year with the Dons after guiding them to a share of third place in the West Coast Conference in 2009, with just two games separating first and third place. USF just missed returning to the 30-win mark at 28-28, but owned a winning conference record at 12-9. Since 2005, USF has logged a 163-123 (.570) record, highlighted by the first back-to-back 30-plus win seasons in school history in 2005-06.

“Nino will add great continuity to the staff and will bring with him an invaluable level of experience from the Collegiate Team’s historic, 24-0 2008 season,” said Eric Campbell, General Manager of USA Baseball’s Professional and Collegiate National Teams. “He was a key member of the staff two summers ago and we hope he can continue that success with the 2010 team.”

Ed Blankmeyer is entering his 15th season at the helm of the St. John’s baseball program. In 14 seasons with the Red Storm, he has posted a 470-285-3 record, won three Big East regular season titles, one tournament championship, made five NCAA Regional appearances and 10 Big East Tournament appearances. Blankmeyer has guided St. John’s to four 40-win seasons, five 30-win seasons and at least 29 wins in 12 of his 14 seasons. He has been named Big East Coach of the Year four times, ABCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year four times and has seen 47 of his players sign professional contracts.

“I am thrilled to have Ed join the Collegiate Team coaching staff,” Campbell said. “I enjoy watching the way his St. John’s teams play. We are fortunate to add another great Big East head coach to our coaching pool.”

Joining the 2010 Collegiate Team Staff on the administration side are Danny Wheat and Lee Gronkiewicz. Wheat will serve as the head athletic trainer for the team, while Gronkiewicz has been pegged as the recent-athlete representative on the team’s selection committee.

Wheat is responsible for athletic injury recognition and care, treatment and rehabilitation as an athletic trainer for the Texas Christian University baseball team. He has also worked in a similar role with USA Baseball on two occasions, at the 2003 IBAF Baseball World Cup in Cuba and in September of this year, as part of Team USA’s gold medal-run at the World Cup in Europe.

Following his retirement earlier this year, Gronkiewicz was named the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for Greensboro College (N.C.). The righty pitcher saw action across eight Minor League seasons and logged one game at the Major League level, a four-inning relief appearance for Toronto in 2007. For Team USA, Gronkiewicz played a significant role out of the bullpen for the 2006 Olympic Qualifying Team and the 2007 World Cup Team, both of which took home first place at their respective tournaments. He will work with Campbell and the coaching staff to help select which players will receive invitations to the 2010 Collegiate National Team Trials.

“Danny and Lee’s contributions to some of our recent championship professional teams still burns bright, and it is a pleasure and a benefit to add them to our 2010 Collegiate Team administration staff. “USA Baseball is once again thankful for their service to the organization and we wish them well with their teams’ upcoming 2010 spring seasons.”

Additionally, USA Baseball announced that Nic Nakagama from Utah will also join the Collegiate Team’s administration staff. He is set to graduate in May 2010 and will serve as the team’s bullpen coach, assistant trainer and auxiliary administrator.

Kinneberg and Serrano were announced as part of the 2010 coaching staff in June. While Serrano will be making his first stint with the U.S. next summer, Kinneberg has a long history with Team USA. He first appeared as the pitching coach for the 1999 Collegiate National Team, which ended the summer at 24-15. He worked for several years as the director of the organization’s Athlete Development Program, and most recently was the pitching coach for the 2007 Collegiate Team. The 2007 club went 25-12, finishing with a stellar 1.93 team ERA.

The Collegiate Team is coming off a 19-5 2009 season that was capped with a title at the inaugural World Baseball Challenge in Canada. The 2010 schedule is highlighted by the V FISU World University Championships, which will take place in Japan, as well as a friendship series domestically against Korea, to be held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. and at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C.

About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic Team and World Cup Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to top player in college baseball. For more information, please visit www.usabaseball.com and www.goldenspikesaward.com.