DURHAM, N.C. - On Friday, USA Baseball announced the coaching staff for the 2018 Women's National Team that will compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup from August 22-31 in Viera, Florida. Matt Weagle was named the team's manager and he will be joined on staff by five-time Women's National Team alum Veronica Alvarez, Cody Kauffman and Ernie May.
2018 will be Weagle's fifth year working with the Women's National Team program, including serving as the pitching coach for the team that won gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Additionally, he was the pitching coach for the 2016 Women's National Team, the 2015 Pan Am Games Qualifier team and the 2014 team that won a silver medal at the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup in Miyazaki, Japan. Under his direction, teams held a 2.07 and 2.16 ERA in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and a 1.29 ERA in 2016.
"I am very honored to represent the United States and Team USA, and I look forward to fielding a highly competitive team for the World Cup this summer," Weagle said. "That this event is being played in the U.S. is a significant milestone in the evolution of women's baseball in this country and I couldn't be more proud and excited to manage these athletes who have had such a positive impact on this growing sport."
Weagle most recently served as the Field Coordinator for the 2017 Women's National Team Development Program (NTDP) that was held at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C. In addition, he has served on numerous other Women's NTDP, Women's National Open and Women's National Team Trials staffs over his career with USA Baseball. Currently in his fifth season as the pitching coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Weagle pitched at Franklin Pierce University from 2000-2003 before being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft.
"We could not be more excited to not only have this prestigious event on our home soil for the first time, but also to have Matt Weagle and this group of incredibly talented coaches leading the 2018 Women's National Team," USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO, Paul Seiler, said. "The experience and knowledge Matt brings to this program is unmatched and we cannot wait to watch as this staff leads the 2018 team in its pursuit of a world championship."
Alvarez, who will serve as Team USA's pitching coach, is making her national team coaching debut for USA Baseball in 2018 after five years as a player. Alvarez started her career with the red, white and blue in 2008 and every team she participated on medaled in international competition. She won two bronze medals as a member of the 2008 and 2010 Women's National Teams before winning a silver medal in 2012 and a gold medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Previously, she served as a coach for the Women's National Team Identification Series, and she continues to help grow the next generation of female baseball players as a coach at the 2017 and 2018 Trailblazer Series and the upcoming 2018 Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series Showcase & Development Camp.
Kauffman will join the staff as an assistant coach in 2018 after coaching at the 2017 Women's NTDP. Currently in his third season as an assistant coach at Franklin Pierce University, Kauffman previously worked in the USA Baseball organization as an operations coordinator for the 2014 Collegiate National Team and the director of the 12U National Team in 2015, which went on to claim the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup gold medal. He played baseball at Franklin Pierce University in 2009 and 2010, where he was selected to the East Regional All-Tournament team in 2010; and later served as a graduate assistant for the Ravens while earning his master's degree. Kauffman also spent time working in baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs minor league system in 2012 and 2013.
Rounding out the staff is May, who will also serve in an assistant coach role for the 2018 team. A member of the 2017 Women's NTDP coaching staff, he has also coached at several Women's National Team Trials and Women's National Open events. He is in his second year as the head coach at Dean College and has worked at the high school, collegiate and minor league levels throughout his career. He is also currently working toward his Doctorate in Education Leadership and Management from Drexel University. May started his collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach at Springfield College before moving on to a position in the Atlanta Braves front office, followed by coaching posts at Wofford College, UMass-Amherst, Trinity College, Northland College and Harvard University. While at the helm of Northland College, he was named the 2014 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Like Alvarez, Kauffman and May are both making their national team coaching debuts for USA Baseball in 2018.
The 2018 Women's National Team identification process will begin with the Women's National Open that will take place June 8-10 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. The coaching staff will then select 40 athletes from the event to compete at the 2018 National Team Trials that will take place immediately following the Women's National Open from June 11-14 at the National Training Complex.
The final roster will be selected from the National Team Trials and will be announced Monday, June 18.
The 2018 Women's National Team will train in Florida from August 16-20 prior to competing in the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup from August 22-31 at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.
2018 marks the first time the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup will be held in the United States. Team USA is a two-time World Champion in the tournament, having won gold medals in 2004 and 2006.
For the most up-to-date information on the Women's National Team, check USABaseball.com and follow @USABaseballWNT and @USABaseball on Twitter.