CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the 2021 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP) coaching staff, led by USA Baseball Director of Player Development Jim Koerner who will serve as the Field Coordinator. The 2021 16U/17U NTDP will feature 44 of the country’s top athletes and is scheduled to take place August 6-9 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
The 16U/17U NTDP will feature a Stars and Stripes intrasquad series, and Koerner, along with additional coaches and evaluators, will assess the 44 athletes throughout the event for possible future participation in USA Baseball national team programming. The NTDP will also include skill development sessions, off-field educational seminars, and exposure to professional scouts, college recruiters, and USA Baseball staff and national team coaches.
Joining Koerner on the staff are Georgetown Head Coach Edwin Thompson and Craig Cozart, who will manage the Stars and Stripes, respectively. Thompson and Cozart will be joined by a collection of experienced coaches from across all levels of baseball including Ray Burris, who will serve as the pitching coordinator for the development program after serving in the same role for the Appalachian League this season.
“We could not be more excited about Jim and the staff that has been put together to lead this year’s National Team Development Program,” said Brett Curll, USA Baseball Director of Baseball Operations. “The vast experience and skillset this group of coaches will bring to our forty-four athletes is going to provide a truly extraordinary experience for everyone involved.”
In his role as Director of Player Development, Koerner is responsible for developing on-field programming for USA Baseball’s six national teams and three national team development programs. He also produces curriculums related to player development for USABDevelops.com, the organization’s free online educational resource center. Additionally, he assists with player and staff identification for all 10 clubs in the Appalachian League and serves as a roving instructor during the season.
After most recently being the Appalachian League’s pitching coordinator, Burris brings decades worth of experience to this year’s NTDP. In addition to a lengthy 15-year big league playing career, Burris has also spent the better part of the last three decades coaching in both the major and minor leagues. He has worked in the Philadelphia Phillies organization since 2013, most recently serving as the club’s rehabilitation pitching coach.
Thompson will manage the Stars squad after finishing his first year as the head coach at Georgetown in 2021. Prior to leading the Hoyas, Thompson spent five years as the head coach at Eastern Kentucky and brings 15 years of collegiate coaching experience to the staff. Thompson is familiar with the NTDP, having previously coached for the 17U NTDP and evaluated talent for the 18U National Team in 2015. He also managed the Stripes team in the 2016 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars.
Thompson will be joined on the Stars staff by pitching coach Aaron Heilman and assistant coaches Steve Dintaman (Northern Kentucky) and Paul Rozelle (Catawba Valley CC).
Cozart will manage the Stripes team after most recently serving as the head coach at High Point University. Cozart has over two decades of collegiate coaching experience and is the all-time winningest coach in High Point’s Division I history.
Cozart will be joined on the Stripes staff by pitching coach Justin Parker (South Carolina) and assistant coaches Scott Hemond (Scott Hemond Baseball) and Sammy Serrano.
For more information on the National Team Development Program, please follow @USABDevelops on Twitter or visit USABaseball.com.
The 2021 16U/17U NTDP staff and their full bios are as follows:
- Name; NTDP Position
- Ray Burris; Pitching Coordinator
- Craig Cozart; Stripes Manager
- Steve Dintaman; Stars Assistant Coach
- Aaron Heilman; Stars Pitching Coach
- Scott Hemond; Stripes Assistant Coach
- Jim Koerner; Field Coordinator
- Justin Parker; Stripes Pitching Coach
- Paul Rozelle; Stars Assistant Coach
- Sammy Serrano; Stripes Assistant Coach
- Edwin Thompson; Stars Manager
Ray Burris joins the NTDP staff as pitching coordinator with decades of experience in the game of baseball. His coaching career began with a two-year stint as the bullpen coach for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1990-91, followed by a year in the same role with the Texas Rangers in 1992. Burris later worked in the minor league systems for the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. As a player, the righty took the mound 480 times in his career, pitching 2,188.2 innings for seven teams from 1973-87. He recorded 47 career complete games and won 10 or more games in four different seasons. Burris was drafted in the 17th round of the 1972 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs for whom he would play the next seven years. He also saw action with the New York Yankees (1979), New York Mets (1979-80), Montreal Expos (1981-83), Oakland Athletics (1984), Brewers (1985, 1987), and Cardinals (1986).
Craig Cozart will serve as the Stripes manager at the 2021 NTDP with over 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, most recently serving as the head coach at High Point University for 13 years. Prior to that, Cozart spent 12 years at the University of Central Florida, working his way up from a student assistant to associate head coach. Under his guidance, Cozart has had 32 pitchers selected in the MLB Draft. Cozart is the all-time winningest coach in High Point Division I history and had 12 players taken in the MLB Draft during his time with the Panthers, including current Houston Astros pitcher Andre Scrubb.
Steve Dintaman joins the 2021 NTDP staff after recently being named assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northern Kentucky University. Previously, Dintaman was the head coach at Sinclair Community College (Dayton, Ohio) for 13 years, taking over the program in 2007. In his time leading the Tartan’s, the team went 510-168 while winning nine conference championships and making 11 NCJAA regional appearances. In 2016 and 2018, Sinclair won regional championships and earned runners-up honors three additional times. Dintaman was named OCCAC Conference Coach of the Year 10 times in his career, while winning the NJCAA North District & Region Coach of the Year twice.
Scott Hemond brings both collegiate and professional playing experience to the 2021 NTDP staff, having played at the University of South Florida before spending seven seasons in the MLB. Drafted No. 12 overall in the first round of the 1986 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, Hemond spent time in the A’s, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals organizations. A USA Baseball alum himself, Hemond was a member of the 1985 Collegiate National Team. Since retirement, Hemond started Scott Hemond Baseball, Inc. in Destin, Florida, with the goal of training the next generation of youth baseball talent.
Aaron Heilman, who will serve as the Stars pitching coach for the 2021 NTDP, is no stranger to USA Baseball, having played on the 1999 Collegiate National Team. Drafted No. 18 overall by the New York Mets in 2001 after playing collegiately at Notre Dame, Heilman had a nine-year career in the big leagues, spending time with the Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Arizona Diamondbacks. The right-hander appeared on the mound in 477 MLB games, throwing 630.0 innings and collecting 548 career strikeouts. Earlier this summer, Heilman helped coach in the inaugural MLB Draft Combine hosted by USA Baseball and Major League Baseball at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
2021 16U/17U NTDP Field Coordinator, Jim Koerner, was the head coach at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) from 2011-2021 before joining the USA Baseball staff. 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 twice, 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.
Justin Parker, who was announced as the pitching coach for South Carolina in July, will serve as the pitching coach for the Stripes on the NTDP staff. Prior to joining the Gamecocks, Parker spent three season at Indiana University, including two as associate head coach of the program. Parker oversaw the Hoosiers pitchers that had a 3.17 ERA in 2021 en route to finishing fourth in the Big Ten regular season. In 2019, Parker helped lead Indiana to the Big Ten regular season title and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He guided Andrew Saalfrank to Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors. Before coaching at Indiana, Parker was the pitching coach at University of Central Florida for two seasons after serving as an assistant coach at Wright State for six years.
Paul Rozelle completed his seventh year as the head coach/assistant athletic director at Catawba Valley Community College, where he has led the Red Hawks to a 231-124 overall record. In a record-setting 2021 season with a regular season title, the Red Hawks set numerous program records including winning percentage (.759), runs scored (551), RBIs (476), home runs (68), and doubles (140). Aside from the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Rozelle has led Catawba Valley to 30-win seasons every year in his tenure, including a program-record 42 wins in 2018. He led CVCC to a Region X Championship, a Southeast District Championship, and a third-place finish at National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series in his first season at the helm. Rozelle earned the NJCAA Southeast District Coach of the Year Award and the Diamond/American Baseball Coaches Association Southeast Coach of the Year honors for his efforts in 2015. Prior to his promotion to head coach, Rozelle served as an assistant coach for the Red Hawks in 2014, working as the catching instructor and recruiting coordinator. He returns to USA Baseball after serving as an assistant coach at both the 2019 14U NTDP and the 2018 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series.
Sammy Serrano brings a plethora of playing and coaching experience at a variety of levels to the NTDP staff, where he will serve as an assistant coach for the Stripes. Serrano played baseball both collegiately and professionally, and has worked at both the high school and Division I-levels in his coaching career. He was drafted in the second round of the 1998 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants after a collegiate playing career at Stetson, where he was an All-American and was inducted into the Stetson Hall of Fame in 2004. Serrano spent four years in the Giants organization before starting his coaching career. He has served as a coach for various high school programs and from 2005-2007 was the recruiting coordinator for UNC Greensboro. Serrano is no stranger to USA Baseball programming, having worked with the organization numerous times during the 18U National Team Trials.
Edwin Thompson, who is coming off his first season as head coach at Georgetown, will serve as the 2021 16U/17U NTDP Star Manager. Before his time with the Hoyas, Thompson was the head coach at Eastern Kentucky for five years, leading the Colonels to a 122-123 record during his tenure. Under Thompson, EKU had back-to-back 30-win seasons in 2018 and 2019. Before becoming a head coach, Thompson was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Duke for two seasons, where he worked with two-time USA Baseball alum and MLB All-Star Marcus Stroman, before working at Georgia State from 2013-2015. During his collegiate playing career, Thompson spent time at Howard, Maryland, and Webber, where he helped the team win a record 37 games and its first-ever regional appearance. He has worked in various roles with USA Baseball over the years, including as a coach with the 17U NTDP. Additionally, he was a member of the Steering Committee for the Appalachian League’s inaugural season as a collegiate summer league in 2021.