CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today revealed the coaching staff for the 2022 15U National Team, highlighted by the naming of Drew Briese as manager. Briese, who will make his Team USA managerial debut in 2022, will be joined by pitching coach Rob Shabansky and assistant coaches Steve Butler and Jeff Sherman, each of whom are returning to the program after serving in the same roles in 2021.
“We are excited to have Drew at the helm of this year’s 15U National Team,” said USA Baseball 15U National Team Program Director Charles Lane. “His commitment to USA Baseball over the years has been substantial and he brings a wealth of knowledge that makes him a great leader for these young athletes. We are confident that Drew and the rest of this veteran coaching staff will lead our team to great success this summer.”
"I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent the United States as manager,” said Briese. “USA Baseball has an incredibly high standard for excellence and that excites me as a coach. I am certain that our staff will assemble a team that is capable and confident. Our team will be incredibly talented, but, more importantly, they will be united in our mission to represent the stars and stripes in a positive manner.”
Briese brings an abundance of experience to his first-ever Team USA managerial role. He began his national team coaching career in 2016 when he served as an assistant coach for the 15U National Team, where he helped lead the stars and stripes to a bronze medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup. Briese was also a coach at the 2015 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP) before returning to the staff as pitching coach in 2019. Most recently, Briese served as the field coordinator at the 2021 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP) and has held numerous other roles as a pitching coach, assistant coach, and evaluator for Team USA since 2013.
Just recently finishing his sixth season as the head coach at Centre College (Danville, Ky.), Briese led the Colonels to a program-best 24 wins in 2019 and a fourth-place finish in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) in 2021, the program’s highest finish since the conference’s inception in 2013. He recently picked up his 100th career victory as head coach on April 2, 2022, reaching the mark faster than any other coach in program history. Before his time at Centre, Briese spent 10 seasons as part of the coaching staff at Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Ala.) and helped lead the Panthers to 10 regular season and conference tournament titles, and four straight Division III Regional appearances. In Briese’s final season with the program, Birmingham-Southern led the country in hits (516) and ranked seventh in the nation in doubles (99).
In his seventh appearance on a national team coaching staff, Shabansky brings a wealth of international experience. After making his national team coaching debut as an assistant coach with the 2011 16U National Team, Shabansky served as the pitching coach for the 2015 and 2016 15U National Teams before being elevated to manager in 2017. In that role, he led the U.S. to a 7-1 overall record and a COPABE Pan Am "AA" Championships gold medal. He has guided four national teams he has worked with to gold medals and, under his direction, the 2015 and 2016 15U pitching staffs recorded collective ERAs of 3.36 and 2.57, respectively. Additionally, he served as a pitching coach for the 2016 14U NTDP and the pitching coordinator at the 2019 14U NTDP. Most recently, Shabansky served as the pitching coach for the 2021 15U National Team.
A graduate of the University of Arizona, Shabansky was a standout pitcher for the Wildcats baseball program. As a sophomore, he led the Wildcats in wins (8) and ERA (3.86). He was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1998 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft and played four seasons of professional baseball. Shabansky just wrapped up his 15th season at the helm at GateWay Community College (Phoenix, Ariz.), where he led the Geckos to the NJCAA Division II Baseball World Series Championship Game in 2016.
Butler returns to the staff as an assistant coach in 2022 after earning his first national team assignment last summer. Currently the head coach at Eagan High School (Eagan, Minn.), Butler is a veteran of USA Baseball events having coached at the 14U NTDP in 2015 and 2017 and 15U National Team Trials in 2016, 2018, and 2019. Prior to coaching at Eagan, Butler was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Concordia University, St. Paul, from 2009-2017, where he worked with hitters and defense. During his collegiate career, he was a team captain who started in 101 games for the Golden Bears, hitting .313 and helping lead the team to the school’s first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship in 2003. Butler played professional baseball from 2005-2010, recording 244 hits and 86 RBIs in 347 games.
Sherman also returns in 2022 for his second stint as a national team assistant coach after making his debut a summer ago. He brings a bevy of experience after serving on the task force at multiple USA Baseball events throughout his career, including the National Team Championships and National Team Identification Series (NTIS). Sherman recently finished his 10th year as the head coach at Marcus High School (Flower Mound, Texas) and holds an overall record of 258-76 in that time. In his first season at the helm, the program was ranked third in Texas and as high as 24th nationally as Sherman led the Marauders to a 32-8 record and a 2013 regional semifinals appearance. He also set the program record for most wins in a single season (32) in 2013 and guided his team to the regional finals in 2014. Following the 2014 run, Sherman was named the District 6-6A Coach of the Year for the first time before earning the honor again in 2019 and, most recently, in 2021. Additionally, six of his former players have gone on to be selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Prior to his time at Marcus High School, he served as an assistant coach at Centennial High School (Frisco, Texas) from 2007-2012. In his playing days, Sherman was a two-time NAIA All-American at Missouri Baptist University in 2002 and 2003.
The 2022 National Team Championships in Arizona and North Carolina along with the 2022 13U/14U ADP will serve as two of the four primary identification events for the 2022 15U National Team. Fifty-five athletes will be identified from the events, joining 13 players who were previously identified from last year’s 14U NTIS Champions Cup and four players from last year’s 13U/14U ADP. Those 72 players will then compete at the 2022 15U National Team Trials for a spot on the final 20-man 15U National Team roster.
The final 2022 15U National Team schedule will be announced at a later date.