18U National Team Coaching Staff Finalized With Addition of Butch Chaffin and Jason Maxwell

Veteran national team coaches join Cuddyer and Hawkins on staff

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today finalized the 2023 18U National Team coaching staff with the addition of veteran national team coaches Butch Chaffin and Jason Maxwell. They will assist Team USA in its world title defense at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup from September 1-10 in Tainan, Taiwan.

Chaffin and Maxwell join manager Michael Cuddyer and pitching coach LaTroy Hawkins on this year’s staff. Already a world-champion winning manager, Maxwell will make his fourth overall appearance on a national team staff, while Chaffin will make his third.

“Butch and Jason are two veteran coaches who fit perfectly on our coaching staff,” said 18U National Team Director Brett Curll. “Both of these elite coaches will bring experience from the high school and international levels to combine with the professional experience already on staff. Butch and Jason both have gold-medal pedigrees, which will be essential to our world title defense, and we are excited for them to don the red, white, and blue once again.”

Chaffin returns to the 18U National Team coaching staff after first serving as an assistant coach with the program in 2010. His most recent assignment for the U.S. was as an assistant coach with the 12U National Team in 2017, when he helped guide the stars and stripes to a gold medal at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in Tainan, Taiwan. Chaffin coached the hitters as Team USA batted a tournament-best .423 and outscored opponents 107-43. His national team coaching debut came seven years earlier with the 18U National Team in 2010 as the U.S. went 19-2 overall, including a 7-1 record at the 2010 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup. Chaffin led the pitching staff that summer, coaching future MLB All-Star Lance McCullers Jr. and helping the pitchers post a 1.62 ERA and a .153 batting average against.

Currently in his 24th year as the head coach at Cookeville High School (Cookeville, Tenn.), he owns a career record of 536-180 and has been named District 7-AAA Coach of the Year five times, as well as Region Coach of the Year three times. Chaffin, who has also served as the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association President, previously worked for Tennessee Tech as its hitting coach and with the Kansas City Royals in the special assignments department. He has also been involved with USA Baseball since 2008. Chaffin has assisted in various capacities, including as the USA Baseball Task Force leader at numerous National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cups. He was also the field coordinator at the inaugural 13U Athlete Development Program (ADP) in 2019 and coached at the 2022 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League. Additionally, Chaffin was named the 2020 USA Baseball Volunteer Coach of the Year due to his contributions to the Fun At Bat program.

Maxwell is back on the 18U National Team staff after serving as the program’s manager in 2021. In that role, Maxwell led a U.S. roster full of future first-round draft picks – including Jackson Holliday, Termarr Johnson, and Druw Jones – to a friendship series victory over Canada. This summer will mark his fourth appearance on a Team USA coaching staff and second as an assistant. In addition to managing the 18U National Team in 2021, Maxwell was also at the helm of the 15U National Team in 2018. That year, he guided the stars and stripes to the program’s first-ever world championship as they claimed gold at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Chiriqui, Panama. The U.S. went 8-1 in tournament play and defeated host Panama in the title game. Later that year, the team was named the 2018 USA Baseball Team of the Year, and Maxwell was honored as the 2018 USA Baseball Developmental Coach of the Year. Maxwell was also an assistant for the 2016 15U National Team that earned a bronze medal at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Iwaki, Japan.

Maxwell is the head coach at Ensworth School (Nashville, Tenn.), where he has led the program for the past 18 seasons after becoming the first coach in program history in 2004. The Tigers have made three Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) quarterfinal appearances under Maxwell’s watch, including their most recent trip to the quarterfinal round in 2021. Before he became a coach, Maxwell was an all-conference player at Middle Tennessee State University in 1992 and 1993 before being selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft. He played 12 years of professional baseball, including parts of three seasons in the major leagues. After making his big-league debut with the Cubs in 1998, he appeared in 103 games over two seasons with the Minnesota Twins in 2000 and 2001. Maxwell wrapped up his minor league career in 2004, finishing with 991 hits, 103 home runs, and 487 RBIs.

Maxwell has also served as the field coordinator for the 2017 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP) and has worked at numerous National Team Training Camps, the USA Baseball National Team Championships, and the NTIS Champions Cup throughout his tenure with USA Baseball.

Chaffin and Maxwell join Cuddyer and Hawkins to complete the 2023 18U National Team coaching staff. A two-time MLB All-Star, Cuddyer is making his managerial debut with the stars and stripes after playing for the 18U National Team in 1996 and 1997. Hawkins–a 21-year MLB veteran who is one of just 13 relievers in league history to register a save against all 30 Clubs–will be the pitching coach.

The 2023 PDP League will again serve as the primary identification event for 18U National Team Training Camp. The PDP League is an invitation-based development and assessment opportunity for high school players eligible for the following year’s MLB Draft. It provides athletes an unprecedented amateur experience, including competitive gameplay, player development sessions, educational seminars, and additional programming to prepare players for a professional baseball career. The 2023 PDP League will take place from June 26-July 3 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

The 18U National Team program owns nine world championships and 15 overall gold medals, most recently winning gold at both the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup and the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier in 2022. Overall, the U.S. has earned 27 medals in WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup play, the most of any nation.

The entire 2023 18U National Team schedule will be announced at a later date.