CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today named the coaching staff for the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP), which features South Carolina pitching coach Justin Parker, two-time MLB All-Star Brad Penny, and 18U National Team Assistant Coach Jack Wilson as roving instructors. USA Baseball Director of Player Development Jim Koerner will serve as the program’s field coordinator.
The NTDP, which will have a newly expanded 80-man roster in 2022, will feature five days of games and workouts, skill development sessions, off-field educational seminars, and exposure to professional scouts, college recruiters, USA Baseball staff, and national team coaches. Additionally, players will be assessed and evaluated by the coaching staff for possible future participation in USA Baseball national team programming.
“We are very fortunate to welcome this group of accomplished and successful coaches to this year’s National Team Development Program,” said USA Baseball Director of Baseball Operations Brett Curll. “The National Team Development Program has established itself as a premier event on the amateur baseball calendar and continues to attract the nation’s top coaches and players. We look forward to watching this staff create and develop impactful relationships with our players this summer.”
Four current Division I coaches will join the staff to serve as managers in 2022. Longtime Boston College head coach Mike Gambino, Indiana University Assistant Coach Derek Simmons, Murray State University Head Coach Dan Skirka, and Notre Dame pitching coach Chuck Ristano, who helped lead Notre Dame to the 2022 College World Series, will serve as the four NTDP managers this season.
The full coaching staff for the 2022 16U/17U NTDP is as follows (coaches’ bios enclosed below):
- Field Coordinator: Jim Koerner – USA Baseball
- Roving Instructor: Justin Parker – University of South Carolina
- Roving Instructor: Brad Penny
- Roving Instructor: Jack Wilson
TEAM LIGHT BLUE
- Manager: Mike Gambino – Boston College
- Pitching Coach: Brett Tomko
- Assistant Coach: Andre Butler
- Manager: Derek Simmons – Indiana University
- Pitching Coach: Todd Jones
- Assistant Coach: Butch Chaffin – Cookeville (TN) High School
- Manager: Chuck Ristano – University of Notre Dame
- Pitching Coach: Brad Penny
- Assistant Coach: Dave Webb – Corona Del Sol (AZ) High School
- Manager: Dan Skirka – Murray State University
- Pitching Coach: Doug Creek
- Assistant Coach: Austin Wates – Kansas State University
The 2022 16U/17U NTDP is scheduled to take place from July 25-29 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. The roster will feature players identified from the National Team Championships in Arizona and North Carolina, as well as last year’s 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS). Twenty-four players from the 2021 15U and 16U NTIS Champions Cup have already been selected for the 2022 16U/17U NTDP.
For more information on the USA Baseball National Team Development Program, follow @USABDevelops on Twitter.
Andre Butler joins the staff for the 2022 16U/17U NTDP as an assistant coach for Team Light Blue. The owner and operator of Graveyard Mentality in Pennsylvania, Butler is one of the best in the coaching profession at teaching outfield play. In addition to running his training organization, he also has extensive experience coaching at the collegiate level, most recently for two seasons as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Swarthmore College. With the Garnet, Butler served as a first-base coach while also implementing defensive strategies throughout games. It was Butler’s second stint at Swarthmore after spending the 2012-13 school year as an assistant with the team and previously coaching for four seasons as an assistant at Penn State University, where he served in multiple roles, including as a hitting coach. His first season with the Nittany Lions was the program's best in recent history, as they earned their first winning record in four years and doubled their Big Ten-win total from the previous season. Prior to his time at Penn State, Butler also coached at the University of Pennsylvania and DeSales University. In addition to his coaching experience, Butler played collegiately for four seasons at Eastern University (St. Davids, Pa.), graduating in 2012 as one of the program's all-time best hitters. He also started a tee-ball league called the "Jackie Robinson West Philly League" in Philadelphia.
Two-time national team coach Butch Chaffin will serve as an assistant coach for Team Navy at the 2022 16U/17U NTDP. Chaffin is currently the head coach at Cookeville High School (Cookeville, Tenn.) where he has been named District 7-AAA Coach of the Year five times and the Region Coach of the Year three times. For USA Baseball, he has twice served as an assistant coach, first for the 2010 18U National Team and again with the 2017 12U National Team, which won its third consecutive World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup. Before coaching at Cookeville High School, he was an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech University for four years and a professional scout for the Kansas City Royals.
Two-time USA Baseball alumnus and nine-year MLB veteran Doug Creek is set to serve as a pitching coach for Team White at the 2022 16U/17U NTDP. Creek appeared in 279 contests out of the bullpen with seven different clubs during his big-league tenure, striking out more than a batter an inning with 292 punchouts in 289.1 total innings pitched. He also pitched one season with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan in 1998. Creek first donned the Team USA uniform with the 1987 18U National Team and again with the 1989 Collegiate National Team. In 15 pitching appearances over those two summers with the red, white, and blue, he went 7-1 on the mound with 55 strikeouts in 54.2 innings of work. Inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 2001, Creek was also one of the top pitchers in the school’s storied history. In four seasons for the Ramblin’ Wreck from 1988-91, he posted 41 wins with 458 strikeouts in 472.0 innings pitched, all of which remain school records to this day. He was drafted twice during his collegiate career, signing with the St. Louis Cardinals after they picked him in the seventh round of the 1991 MLB Draft.
Longtime Boston College head coach Mike Gambino brings his vast experience to the dugout as Team Light Blue manager at the 2022 16U/17U NTDP. Since taking the reins at BC in 2010, Gambino has amassed over 250 wins in his 12 seasons as head coach. In 2016, he led the Eagles to 35 wins, the second-most in program history, and the school’s first-ever Super Regional appearance. For his efforts that year, he was named the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Northeast Region Coach of the Year and a D1Baseball finalist for Coach of the Year. A 1999 Boston College graduate, Gambino previously served as an assistant coach for the Eagles from 2003-2005 before taking a position as a regional scout for the Detroit Tigers. After two years in that role, he headed to Virginia Tech where he was the recruiting coordinator for four seasons. Gambino played for Boston College from 1997-2000, starting 166 games and hitting at a career .313 clip. The Garrison, New York, native was a first-team All-Big East, All-New England, and All-Northeast region honoree following his senior campaign. Following his collegiate career, Gambino played two seasons in the Boston Red Sox minor league system.
One of the most successful relief pitchers in Major League history, Todd Jones will join the 2022 16U/17U NTDP as a pitching coach for Team Navy. A 16-year MLB veteran, Jones recorded 319 career saves, giving him the 22nd-most all time. He appeared in 982 contests with a 3.97 ERA over his lengthy career which saw him suit up for eight different clubs, including eight seasons with the Detroit Tigers. His best season came in 2000 when he was named to the American League All-Star Team and claimed AL Relief Man of the Year honors after notching a league-high 42 saves, a Tigers single-season record. Jones finished 11 of his 18 seasons with double-digit save totals, including five with 30 or more. He is also a USA Baseball alumnus, having played on the inaugural World Baseball Classic squad in 2006. Jones played collegiately at Jacksonville State University where he helped pitch the Gamecocks to back-to-back College World Series appearances in 1988 and 1989. He was drafted with the 27th pick of the first round of the 1989 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros and was inducted into the JSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
NTDP Field Coordinator and USA Baseball Director of Player Development Jim Koerner was the head coach at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) from 2011-2021. As just the second head coach in the program’s modern-day history, Koerner took NCCU baseball to new heights in his 10 years at the helm. Under his guidance, the Eagles set the school record for wins in 2013 (27) and again in 2018 (28). He also coached two MLB Draft picks with NCCU, including Corey Joyce, who became the highest selection in program history when he was taken in the 12th round by the Detroit Tigers in 2019. Before his time at NCCU, Koerner was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Buffalo from 2007-2011, helping the Bulls reach their best offensive performances in program history in 2009 and 2010. The team recorded an all-time high in wins since 1999 during the 2009 season and set the records for team batting average (.312), home runs (46), and stolen bases (71) in 2010. In those two seasons combined, the Bulls broke over 25 season, career, team, and individual records. He began his coaching career in 2001 as the head coach at Medaille College, where he helped found the program and was named the 2003 North Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He broke into the Division I ranks as an assistant at Monmouth University before a stint at Marshall University.
Following his first season as the pitching coach at the University of South Carolina, Justin Parker will serve as the pitching coordinator at the 2022 16U/17U NTDP. Parker joined the Gamecocks after spending three seasons as the associate head coach/pitching coach at Indiana. He has also coached at the University of Central Florida for two seasons (2017-2018) and worked at Wright State University, his alma mater, for six years (2012-17). Parker has produced 20 pitchers who have been selected in the MLB Draft, including nine who have gone in the first 10 rounds. In just two years at UCF, Parker sent nine arms to the professional ranks. As a player, he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 43rd round of the 2005 MLB Draft out of Fort Wayne High School (Fort Wayne, Ind.) but opted to play for Wright State. He was drafted again in 2008, this time by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth round, and spent three years playing for the Diamondbacks’ minor league affiliates. As a player at Wright State, Parker earned first-team Horizon League selections in 2007 and 2008, as well as Second Team ABCA All- Region in 2007, and was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District recipient in 2008. Parker has previously served on the NTDP staff in 2019 and 2021 as a pitching coach.
Brad Penny joins the NTDP staff as a roving instructor and pitching coach after making his national team coaching debut with the 18U National Team last summer. Penny served as the pitching coach for Team USA in 2021, leading the staff to a 1.53 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 59 innings in a seven-game friendship series against Canada. In addition to his USA Baseball coaching experience, Penny also donned the stars and stripes as a player when he suited up for the organization’s first Professional National Team in 1999. The squad won a silver medal at the 1999 Pan American Games, qualifying Team USA for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games where the U.S. earned the gold medal with a 4-0 defeat of Cuba. The right-hander was selected in the fifth round of the 1996 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks and had a 14-year MLB playing career that included two All-Star selections and a World Series championship. The Blackwell, Oklahoma, native finished his career with 121 wins, 1,273 strikeouts, and a 4.29 ERA in 1,925.0 innings pitched in the big leagues. After making his major league debut with the Miami Marlins in 2000, he helped lead the team to the organization’s second World Series Championship in 2003 with a 4.13 ERA in 32 starts during the season. Penny also made two starts in the Fall Classic against the New York Yankees, earning a 2-0 record while striking out seven in 12.1 innings of work. Penny made his first All-Star Game appearance in 2006 and finished that season with a 4.33 ERA, a career-high 148 strikeouts, and a league-leading 16 wins for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2007, he collected a 3.03 ERA, 135 punchouts, and an MLB-best .800 (16-4) win percentage to earn his second All-Star Game selection in as many years and finish third in National League Cy Young Award voting. He finished his playing career with stints playing for the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Detroit Tigers before returning to the Marlins in 2014 for his final season.
Returning for his second stint with the 16U/17U National Team Development Program is University of Notre Dame pitching coach Chuck Ristano. He will serve as the Red team manager this year; but, he previously served as a pitching coach for the Stripes at the 2019 NTDP which played games at Notre Dame, Wrigley Field, and Miller Park. Through 12 seasons in South Bend, Ristano has produced 17 Major League draft picks on the mound, a team ERA under 4.00 in eight seasons, and 13 all-conference selections from the pitching staff. The Irish earned their second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth in 2022 and are currently competing in the College World Series. Ristano also helped lead the Irish to a magical 2021 campaign which saw them go from unranked to as high as No. 2 in the nation and fall just one game short of advancing to Omaha for the College World Series. Ristano shared a big moment with former Notre Dame star Trey Mancini last summer as well when the two teamed up as pitcher and hitter to reach the final round of the MLB Home Run Derby at Coors Field in Colorado. Before joining the staff at Notre Dame, Ristano spent four seasons as a pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Monmouth University in New Jersey. There, he helped the Hawks to Northeast Conference titles and NCAA Regional bids in 2007 and 2009. Ristano has also spent time as pitching coach at Sacred Heart and Temple. He was a two-time captain and four-year letter winner at Sacred Heart (2001-04), where he also was a four-time NEC All-Academic honoree.
Derek Simmons is set to be a manager for Team Navy at the 2022 16U/17U NTDP. Simmons recently completed his third season on the coaching staff at Indiana University where he currently serves as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator after two years in the volunteer assistant role. The 12-year coaching veteran has been highly successful on the recruiting trail during his career, putting together two top 25 recruiting classes to go along with three other “top classes” per Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The Duluth, Georgia, native was also named to Baseball America’s “Coaches to Watch” list in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving in Bloomington, Simmons spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Kent State University (2018-2019), where helped land the second-highest recruiting class in program history during that time. Simmons also spent time as a member of the coaching staff at the University of Alabama (2016) and Kennesaw State University (2012-2015). He started his coaching career with a two-year stint at Central Michigan University. Additionally, he served as the Stars assistant coach in 2014 and as the PONY coach in the 2012 and 2013 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars. Prior to beginning his coaching career, Simmons played for the University of Montevallo, helping lead the team to the 2006 Division II College World Series before transferring to Georgia State where he was named team captain and twice earned first-team all-conference accolades.
Murray State University head coach Dan Skirka joins the 2022 16U/17U NTDP as Team White manager this summer. Skirka, who previously worked with USA Baseball as an assistant at the 2019 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League, recently completed his fourth season at the helm of the Racers program. He has won 97 games during that time, including a program-record 18 Ohio Valley Conference contests in 2021. Skirka was quite familiar with the MSU program before taking over as he served as an assistant coach for the club from 2009-14. Between his stints at Murray State, Skirka had four successful seasons as the recruiting coordinator at Walters State Community College, where he helped lead the Senators to a 208-48 record during that span. He played collegiately at Grand Valley State University, earning Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association All-Region First-Team honors during his senior season in 2007. Skirka began his coaching career the following year at Grand Rapids Community College where his team advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series. Skirka also spent one season as an assistant at Ouachita Baptist University in 2009.
Brett Tomko brings 14 years of Major League experience to the dugout this summer as a pitching coach for Team Light Blue at the 2022 16U/17U NTDP. A second-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1995 MLB Draft, Tomko pitched in 397 big-league contests during his lengthy career, finishing with exactly 100 wins and 1,209 total strikeouts. He recorded double-digit win totals on five occasions, topping out at 13 victories in both 1998 and 2003. Tomko suited up for 10 different clubs, including three stints with the San Diego Padres. He was drafted out of Florida Southern College where he played just one season but left an indelible mark. In his lone campaign with the Moccasins, Tomko went 15-2 with a 1.35 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 126.1 innings en route to becoming the first player to ever be named the NCAA Division II Pitcher and Player of the Year. He was also named the Most Outstanding Player at the DII championships after leading the Mocs to their eighth national title with a complete-game shutout in the championship game. In 2014, the NCAA DII Pitcher of the Year Award was named the Brett Tomko Award in his honor.
Kansas State University assistant coach Austin Wates joins the 2022 16U/17U NTDP staff as an assistant coach for Team White in 2022. Wates, who has been an assistant with the Wildcats since the 2019 season, focuses primarily on hitters, outfielders, and baserunners with the program. Since joining the staff, Wates’ offense has delivered two of the top six seasons in terms of total home runs in the program’s history, including a single-season record 89 homers in 2021. Before joining the coaching ranks, Wates played collegiately at Virginia Tech from 2007-2010. He was a preseason All-America selection by two publications in 2010, and later that season helped lead the Hokies to their first regional NCAA Regional appearance in 10 years. Wates was drafted in the third round by the Houston Astros in the 2010 MLB Draft and played professionally until 2015 in the Astros and Miami Marlins organizations.
Four-time gold medal-winning manager Dave Webb will join the staff at the 2022 16U/17U NTDP as an assistant coach for Team Red. Webb has served as a coach on four USA Baseball national teams over the years, including three stints as manager, with his teams accumulating a 38-1 overall record in international play. As an assistant for the 2007 14U National Team, he helped lead the squad to a perfect 14-0 record in both the qualifier and COPABE Pan Am Championships in Guatemala and Puerto Rico, respectively. Webb then took the helm of the 14U team for the next two years, winning another qualifier in Guatemala in 2008 before leading the 2009 team to a gold medal at the COPABE Pan Am Championships in Ecuador. Most recently, he guided the inaugural 12U National Team to gold at the 2013 IBAF 12U World Cup in Taiwan. Webb is also one of the most successful high school coaches in the nation with over 300 wins in 17 seasons as the head coach at Corona del Sol High School (Tempe, Ariz.). His 2009 team claimed the Arizona 5A state championship and his Aztec squads finished among the top three teams in the state for three consecutive years from 2018-2020.
2022 18U National Team assistant coach Jack Wilson assumes the role of roving instructor at this year's NTDP. Wilson is on the 18U National Team coaching staff as an assistant for the second year in a row after helping lead Team USA to a 5-1-1 record in a friendship series against Canada in 2021. Additionally, he previously served on the NTDP staff in 2019 as a defensive coordinator. Wilson served as the head coach at Thousand Oaks High School (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) from 2017-2021, where he collected a 98-30-1 overall record and led the Lancers to two Marmonte League championships (2019, 2021) and a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF)-SS Division 2 title in 2021. Under his guidance, the program went 24-6, including 10-2 in league play in 2019, and finished the 2021 season with a 27-1 record. He also led the squad to an 8-0 start to the 2020 season and a No. 1 CIF-SS Division 2 ranking before the pause in play caused by COVID-19. Prior to his coaching career, Wilson played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and Atlanta Braves for over 12 years in the big leagues. He led the National League with 12 triples in 2004, earning a spot on the National League All-Star Team and a Silver Slugger award for his efforts. In 1,370 MLB games, Wilson recorded a .265/.306/.366 career slash line with 61 home runs and 426 RBIs.