DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the coaching staff for the 15U National Team that will compete in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup in David, Panama. Jason Maxwell will take the reins as manager in 2018 and Manny Crespo, Troy Gerlach and Adam Moseley will join him on the staff as assistant coaches.
Maxwell will serve as a national team manager for the first time in 2018; however, he has a plethora of experience with USA Baseball, including serving as an assistant coach for the 15U National Team in 2016 when the U.S. won a bronze medal at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Japan. He was also the field coordinator for the 2017 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP) and has worked at numerous National Team Trials, the USA Baseball National Team Championships and the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS).
Maxwell is the first head coach in school history at Ensworth School (Nashville, Tenn.) and has led the program to eight straight playoff appearances and two Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association quarterfinal appearances. Maxwell was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft and played 12 years of professional baseball. He made his Major League debut with the Cubs in 1998.
"We are excited to have Jason Maxwell lead our 15U National Team this year as they head to Panama for the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup," USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. "Jason has been a staple within the coaching ranks of our youth programs for years and we are confident he will do everything he can to lead our 15U National Team program to new heights. We cannot wait for him and his tremendously talented coaching staff to get on the field this summer as they begin the journey to what we hope will be our first-ever U-15 world championship."
Crespo joins the 2018 15U National Team staff as an assistant coach after serving as a coach at the 2017 15U National Team Trials and the 2016 14U NTDP. He has also served on the staff at the National Team Championships, the NTIS and the Women's National Team Trials. A two-time USA Baseball alumnus (1997 18U, 1999 Collegiate), Crespo is currently the head coach at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida. Crespo played collegiately at the University of Miami where he was named the Freshman of the Year in 1998, was a two-time All-America selection, and was a member of the 1999 National Championship team. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 14th round in 2000 and spent four years in the minor leagues until 2003.
Arcadia High School (Phoenix, Ariz.) Head Coach, Gerlach, will also serve as an assistant coach for the 2018 15U National Team. Formerly a coach at the 2017 15U Trials, and the 2016 and 2017 14U NTDP, he also served on the USA Baseball Task Force at the National Team Championships and NTIS. Gerlach is heading into his sixth season as the head coach for the Titans where he has led them to the Arizona Interscholastic Association Baseball State Tournament in four out of his five seasons. Prior to his time at Arcadia High School, Gerlach was an assistant coach at Paradise Valley Community College where he helped the Pumas reach the Junior College World Series in 2010 where they finished in fourth place.
Moseley will serve as the Pitching Coach for the 15U team in 2018, following his time coaching at the 2017 14U NTDP and 15U Trials. He is the head coach at Hoover High School (Hoover, Ala.), where he led the Buccaneers to a 41-11 overall record in 2017 and the Alabama State Baseball Championship. Before taking over at Hoover in 2014, Moseley led Grissom High School (Huntsville, Ala.) to the state quarterfinals in four of his final five seasons. Moseley has coached high school baseball for 11 seasons and has compiled an overall record of 325-195.
All three assistant coaches are making their national team coaching debuts with USA Baseball.
The 15U National Team will be selected through a revamped trials system that was introduced in 2017. 15U National Team Trials is split into two phases, starting with Phase 1 from July 29-31 and finishing with Phase 2 from August 1-3. Both trials phases will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
Phase 1 will feature 72 players identified from the 2017 NTIS, 2017 14U NTDP, the 2018 National Team Championships and the 2018 14U NTDP. Thirty-four of those athletes will then be invited to Phase 2 before 20 players will be named to the final roster on August 3. The 2018 15U National Team will then train at the National Training Complex before competing in the 2018 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup from August 10-19 in David, Panama.
Team USA will be looking for its first-ever U-15 Baseball World Cup title after winning a silver medal in 2014 and a bronze medal in 2016.
For the most up-to-date information on the 15U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball15U and @USABaseball on Twitter.