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USA Baseball Announces 2015 Coaching Staff

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball named the full on-field staff 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Wednesday, completing the staff led by Ed Blankmeyer of St. John’s University, who was announced as manager in January. Joining Blankmeyer on the coaching staff will be pitching coach, Gary Henderson (Kentucky), and assistants, Rich Hill (San Diego) and Paul Mainieri (Louisiana State).

“I am excited to join the USA Collegiate National Team this summer,” said Henderson. “USA Baseball has such a vital role in promoting and growing our sport. I am excited to help contribute to such a stellar organization and work alongside such a great staff at USA Baseball. The opportunity to work with some of the best minds in our game, and some of the top student-athletes in college baseball is truly an honor. I am looking forward to joining Rich and Paul on Ed’s staff this summer.”

Gary Henderson, the head coach at the University of Kentucky, joins the 2015 Collegiate National Team as the pitching coach. Long considered one of the top pitching coaches in college baseball, Gary Henderson is in his seventh year as the head coach of Kentucky and his 12th season overall with the Wildcats after spending five seasons as the associate head coach. Henderson previously coached with USA Baseball at the inaugural 14U National Team Development Program in 2012.

Henderson, who was UK’s associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and pitching coach for five years before becoming the 25th head coach in the history of Wildcat baseball on June 6, 2008, has been a cornerstone in the success of the UK program over the past decade, which includes the best 11-year run in the over 100-year history of the program. Henderson has helped transform the Wildcats into an annual national contender and, under his tutelage, A.J. Reed took home the 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award — given annually to the top amateur player in the U.S.

Rich Hill, enjoying his 17th season as head coach at the University of San Diego, will serve as an assistant coach for the 2015 Collegiate National Team. Hill has built the USD Toreros into one of the most successful Division I baseball programs on the West Coast. The 2015 spring season is Hill’s 27th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and 17th at USD, having enjoyed 24 winning seasons in 27 years. Hill last coached with USA Baseball at the 2013 14U National Team Development Program.

Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in re-writing the school record book en route to claiming back-to-back West Coast Conference Championship titles in 2002 and 2003 and also claiming the WCC crown in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

At San Diego, Hill has coached 12 players earn All-WCC accolades and four All-Americans. In 2013, Kris Bryant claimed the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the first WCC player to win the nation’s most prestigious amateur baseball award.

Paul Mainieri, the three-time National Coach of the Year, will serve as an assistant coach on the 2015 Collegiate National Team. Mainieri has a 1,260-647-8 record in 32 seasons of collegiate coaching at St. Thomas University (1984-88), Air Force (1989-94), Notre Dame (1995-2006) and LSU (2007-present). He is No. 9 on the career wins list for active NCAA coaches, and he is one of only seven active coaches to have won 1,000 games and an NCAA national championship.

In his eight previous seasons at LSU, Mainieri has guided the Tigers to three College World Series appearances, winning the national championship in 2009. He has also directed LSU to four NCAA Regional titles, two Southeastern Conference championships, five SEC Tournament titles and four SEC Western Division crowns. Mainieri has a 396-155-3 mark at LSU, and he is the second-winningest coach in Tiger annals, trailing only Skip Bertman, a three-time USA Baseball coaching alumnus, who was 870-330-3 in his 18 seasons from 1984-2001.

Joining the staff will be certified athletic trainer, Josh Therrien of Oregon State University. Therrien traveled in the same role with the 2012 USA Baseball 18U National Team that won the gold medal at the 2012 IBAF 18U World Cup in Seoul, South Korea. Therrien also worked the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in 2011 and 2012.

The staff will face international friendship series against Chinese Taipei and Cuba in North Carolina, as well as participating in the Americas Baseball Festival against the Canadian Senior National Team, the Cuban National Team and the USA Baseball Pan American Games Team.

USA Baseball will invite players on a rolling basis during the 2015 college baseball season.

Aspects of Successful College Baseball Teams

What are the different aspects of a successful college baseball team? Of course, the individual skill of each person that is playing on the team is part of the equation, but skill alone will not make a team win. In order to experience success on a consistent basis, things such as teamwork and practice come into play. In addition, the right equipment must also be available. Finally, morale and the support of the fans is of importance. Without it, there is no real desire to play, nor is there any motivation to do well. Continue reading Aspects of Successful College Baseball Teams