Our coaches at Absolute Baseball Academy are top notch. Here are the coaches who are helping to craft Calgary's finest up-and-coming baseball talent:
Joe is a left handed pitcher born and raised in Manteca, California. After playing high school baseball at East Union High School and San Joaquin Delta College, Joe was recruited from numerous Division I Universities before deciding on Division I Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. After 1 season there, he was drafted in 1999 by the Florida Marlins in the 21st round and played 5 seasons for them playing as high as AA. In 2004, he joined the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the Northern League and dominated there for 3 years posting a 21-5 regular season record before joining the Calgary Vipers in 2008. From 2008-2010, the GBL All-Star was the ace of the staff that won the 2009 GBL title and was 6-0 in playoffs during his time here. In 2010, Joe finished his 11th and final season of professional baseball in Victoria. After retiring to full-time coach, he was asked by Jose Canseco and the Yuma Scorpions to come out of retirement and pitch again one last time in 2011. In his 12 year career, Joe has a regular season record of 64-33 with a 3.95 ERA in over 800 professional innings. He then made the transition to coaching, where he coached 3 years with the PBF Redbirds here in Calgary. Joe was then named Head Technical Director for the ABA Performance Program, where he is currently in his second year. This past summer Joe was the head coach of the Jr. Dino team that posted a 58-17 record while capturing 2 tournament titles & finishing 3rd at the provincial tournament.
Colin is a Calgary native that played his first two professional seasons for the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League, winning Rookie of the Year in 2008. Colin was also an All-Star in 2009 for the team that won the GBL title that year hitting over .370, which was the second highest batting average for all of Independent League hitters. After his playing career ended, Colin coached two season with the PBF Red Birds, along with helping run many baseball camps at the Absolute Baseball Academy. He is currently in his third season as Head Coach of the University of Calgary Dino's Baseball Program, and coaches the outfielders & hitters for ABA.
Franco was born in Toronto, Ontario and spent most of his youth playing in the Port Hope District Minor Baseball Association where he won an Ontario Championship. He began his high school career playing with the Eastern Ontario All-Stars and travelled to showcases in the United States playing in front of college and professional scouts. In his senior year of high school he moved to British Columbia and was fortunate enough to represent Team B.C. in the 18U ‘Big League’ National Championship. While in B.C. he helped out with Coquitlam Little League as an instructor for youth camps and coaching the Junior All Star team. Franco is currently going into his fourth year at the University of Calgary where he assumes a utility role, mainly infield and catcher, for the Dinos baseball team that placed second in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) in 2013. 2014 will mark his fourth year in the CCBC as he has spent time with the Dinos and the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs. Franco runs many of the hitting and fielding clinics here at ABA, and is very passionate about the sport. His specialties are hitting, catching & fielding.
Andrew is in his second year coaching with ABA, and brings an intense passion for the game that is hard to find. He grew up playing baseball in Calgary, AB with the Babe Ruth Program (2000-2003). Andrew was a member of the 2001 Calgary Reds Babe Ruth team that earned a berth in the World Series. He then went on to play for the U of C Dinos in 2004-2005 where he earned a spot in the starting pitching rotation. From there he moved on to the Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge, AB where he played from 2005-2007, winning a Canadian College Baseball Conference Championship in 2005-2006. Andrew also played in the Western Major Baseball League from 2005-2007 with the Lethbridge Bulls. He finished his career by playing 1 year in Canberra, Australia. While in Lethbridge Andrew was named Director of the Rocky Mountain Baseball School in 2006-2007, and also coached the Spitz Canadians elite travel team. He then coached a couple years in Australia while he was there playing, and is now in his second year as the U of C Dinos pitching coach.
Jeff was born in Campbell River, B.C. but grew up playing baseball in Calgary with the Bow Ridge and Babe Ruth Baseball Organizations as a pitcher, middle infielder, and center fielder. After high school he attended the U of C where he played for 4 years in the Canadian College Baseball Conference and volunteered with many ABA Youth Camps. He spent his first two years as a starter in the middle infield. In his third year he transitioned over to pitching and found success, managing a 2-0 record and 3.21 ERA over 20 innings as a closer with the Dinos during the spring season and Edmonton Prospects of the Western Major Baseball League during the summer. In his final year with the Dinos Jeff posted a 2.91 ERA over 40.2 innings of work as a starter before returning to the Edmonton Prospects, where his season was cut short due to a forearm muscle tear. He has experience as an athletic therapist with U of C Volleyball, U of C Track and Field, and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Along with coaching the Pee Wee team this year, he will also be taking on the lead role in the strength & conditioning portion of the program.
Matt started playing baseball as a child in his hometown with Baseball Alberta's St. Albert Cardinals. A two time Canadian Nationals Catcher of the Tournament, Matt continued his baseball career at the University of Lethbridge playing with the Prairie Baseball Academy in 2004 and 2005. Through the summers of 2005-2007 Matt played for the Edmonton Big River Prospects of the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL). Following the completion of his Computer Science degree, Matt returned to Edmonton to apply his knowledge to the business world, but baseball has a way of keeping people close to the game. He coached at Baseball Alberta Winter camps and assisted with catching instruction for numerous baseball teams in the Edmonton area before being recruited as a coach and player for the Austrian Baseball League's Dornbirn Indians in 2012. Matt spent two seasons in Europe as a coach/player for the BSC Dornbirn Indians and was an Assistant Coach with the U15 Austrian National team. Matt now resides in Calgary and his diverse experience with baseball players of all ages and skill levels makes him a valuable addition to the coaching staff. He looks forward to helping players master not only the physical aspects of baseball, but also the mental side of thinking through the game.
Tyler was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. It was there where he began to pursue his interest in baseball. Beginning in Little League, Tyler became accustomed to 2nd base. Known for his defensive contributions, he made several All-Star teams during his Little League career and was even privileged enough to represent Canada at the World Series in 2006. Tyler graduated into the Premier Baseball League of Ontario, as well as played for a number of travel teams to showcase his talent around North America. He was also a member of his high school baseball team which appeared in the OFSAA tournament 3 years in a row. He later assisted in coaching his high school team upon graduation. Tyler’s love for the game brought him to the Absolute Baseball Academy in 2010 where he has been helping manage the facility, as well as continue to coach and instruct.
Kelsi grew up playing softball in Victoria, BC where she competed from the age of 5 up until her first year of Junior ‘A’ softball – here she had the privilege to compete in the BC Summer Games and participate in numerous provincial, western and national tournaments.
In 2006 Kelsi made the move to Calgary to pursue an academic career while studying at SAIT polytechnic. Kelsi won her first Western Canadian Championship with her new Calgary team in 2007 where she received the Top batter award for the tournament. Kelsi played middle infield with the SAIT Trojans for 4 years where she was named to the Alberta Intercollegiate Women’s Fastball Association (now the Western Collegiate Softball Association) All-star team in 2011, and received the SAIT Trojan of the Year award alongside a nomination for Athlete of the year for the 2012 season - the very first softball player ever considered for the award.
Kelsi now plays with the Calgary Red Sox, the current Provincial and Western Canadian Champions, out of the Calgary Women’s Fastball Association.
Caitlin has been playing softball for the past 22 years, starting out in T-ball at 4 years old and is currently a member of the Provincial and Western Canadian Softball Champions, the Calgary Red Sox playing in the Calgary Women’s Fastball Association.
Caitlin has been a pitcher for her entire softball career, also playing some first base and right field.
Caitlin won the Hayley Wickenheiser award for Most Valuable Player in 2006 with the Calgary Storm.
Caitlin played for Mount Royal University in the Alberta Intercollegiate Women’s Fastball Association (now known as the Western Collegiate Softball Association) throughout her education at Mount Royal, and was picked up as an underage player to play for SAIT in her last year of high school. With numerous gold medals from tournaments, provincials and now a Western Canadian gold medal, Caitlin credits her successes to the hard work and commitment of the entire team, from winter practices in the gym, all the way to the end of the last inning of the year in August.
Teaching numerous pitching and catching clinics, as well as coaching a U16 team, Caitlin believes that developing the proper technique and mechanics are imperative for young pitchers and will directly contribute to their success as a pitcher in the future.
Phil is in his first year with the ABA program and brings with him a great deal of both playing and coaching experience. He was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and grew up playing baseball in Sherwood Park. He started his collegiate career at VIBI where he was a standout pitcher for the Mariners, in the CCBC. After two seasons there he transferred to the University of Jamestown where he was a starting pitcher for three seasons, helping the Jimmies reach the NAIA College World Series in 2008. In his summers Phil played 8 seasons in the WMBL with Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park & Weyburn. He started his coaching career as the pitching coach for the Sherwood Park Midget AAA team in 2009. He then went on to be the pitching coach for the Weyburn Beavers of the WMBL in 2012, and was named the head coach of the Beavers the following season. In his first two seasons as head coach the team has set franchise records in wins, and earned a berth in the 2014 playoffs.
Tyler was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan where he spent his youth playing hockey, football, basketball and baseball. In high school Tyler played for the Regina Wolfpack in the Saskatchewan Premier Midget AAA League. He also represented Team Saskatchewan in U15, U16 and Canada Cup competitions.
Tyler is entering his 4th year at the University of Calgary where he is pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. He is a member of the Dinos baseball team and has spent 3 years as an outfielder and pitcher. Tyler led the Canadian College Baseball Conference in on-base percentage in the 2014 season with a mark of .479. Tyler recently had shoulder surgery and is currently rehabbing while coaching with ABA.
Riley is a left-handed pitcher who was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and later moved to Airdrie, Alberta where he played hockey and baseball growing up. He played baseball with Airdrie Little League and Babe Ruth Calgary. After this he went on to play four seasons with the U of C Dinos Baseball team. He started the spring of his third season as the team’s closer before successfully transferring to a prominent starter. He spent his fourth season as the team’s number one starter. Riley also played two summers with the Weyburn Beavers in the Western Major Baseball League. His first season he filled numerous roles, but was primarily the team’s closer. His second season he was one of the team’s top starters on a talented staff and was awarded the WMBL Pitcher of the Week for the week of July 25-30, 2014. At the end of the summer he went to St. John’s, Newfoundland as a member of Team Saskatchewan at the 2014 Baseball Canada Senior Men National Championship. His interest in performance training has led him to his current practicum with the Edge School for Athletes. Riley is working with high performance athletes from grades 5–12 in a variety of sports as a High Performance Athletics Assistant. Because of this he has valuable experience as a strength and conditioning specialist working with teams on improving mobility, speed, and strength.
Shawn is a left-handed pitcher from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He has had a 5-year professional career after being drafted out of Liberty University in Virginia in 2010 by the Detroit Tigers. He spent 3 years with the Tigers and played AAA. He spent the 2013 season with the New York Mets where he played AA. Last year he spent the year with the Camden Riversharks (AA/AAA independent) in New Jersey. He is due back for Spring Training April 2015.
Shawn's father is currently the New York Mets 3rd Base Coach and has had a 10 year MLB career with the Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres.
Cam grew up in Nanaimo, BC, and went to Junior College in Laredo Texas from 2003-2005, where he was named 1st team All-Conference both years and 2nd team All-American his second year. He then finished his playing career at the University of Jamestown, in Jamestown, North Dakota from 2007-2009 where he helped the Jimmies reach the NAIA World Series in 2008. Cam was also named All-Conference both years at Jamestown. In his college career, Cam played at least one game at every defensive position on the field, other than pitching. Since graduating he has lived in Jamestown where he coached youth hockey, was an assistant baseball coach for the high school team in 2011, and then an assistant coach with the University of Jamestown in 2012. He is in his second year as an assistant coach on the U of C Dinos baseball team, where he works mostly with the infielders & hitters. This past summer Cam was the assistant coach with the Jr.Dinos team that featured many ABA current players & alumni. The team had a very successful summer, winning 2 tournaments and ultimately capturing bronze in the provincial tournament. This is Cam’s second year with the ABA program where he is the head coach of the bantam team.
Sarah is a decorated Calgary Fastpitch player and currently an Athletic Therapy and Sport Physiotherapy Student at Mount Royal University. The Calgary native played in the CWFA minor league until age 11 and by 12, Sarah was playing competitive "A" level travel softball with the Calgary Girls All-Star Program (now the Kaizen organization). She was a competitive A level pitcher who's competitive teams included: the Renegades and Calgary Rockies, Calgary Illusion, and Alberta Elite; composed of some of the top A level players in Calgary, Edmonton, and across Alberta. In total, Sarah has competed in 10+ years of both provincial and Canadian National A level Championships, where she pitched against top teams from Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, to name a few. Sarah also competed at Canada Cup and in numerous A level tournaments across Canada and the United States including California, Montana, Washington, and Michigan. Sarah received athletic scholarship offers from many great schools in Canada and the US, including San Diego State University and Texas A&M, but unfortunately due to an unlucky set of injuries, she made the choice to continue her education at Mount Royal University and begin her coaching career. Sarah is also an NCCP certified Level 2 coach through Baseball/Softball Canada and spends her year working primarily with the Kaizen Fastpitch Organization when not working with the Absolute Baseball Academy.