2017 Speaker Bios – Baseball
The Pennsylvania Baseball & Softball Coaches Clinic, presented by UPMC Sports Medicine, takes tremendous pride in the quality of speakers that present to our attendees each year. We conduct extensive research and recruit individuals that come highly recommended as clinicians. We strive to to make our roster of speakers a blend of successful veteran coaches along with some young “rising stars” of the coaching profession. As we celebrate our 31st annual clinic, we thank all of our loyal attendees and we look forward to providing the coaching community with an excellent clinic in the years to come.
JOHN ROCKER - Former MLB Closer
Rocker was a flame throwing relief pitcher that was drafted by his hometown Atlanta Braves in 1993. The left-hander made his major league debut for the club in 1998. The following season he recorded a 2.49 ERA and 38 saves for the Braves. He helped lead Atlanta to several National League East titles while playing a key role in the teams National League Championship Series victory over fellow 2017 Coaches Clinic presenter, Bobby Valentine, and the New York Mets. The controversial reliever was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2001, where he would pitch in the ALDS against the Seattle Mariners. His career continued with the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Devil Rays before he retired in 2003. Known for his loud mouth and comments to the media, it was no surprise that Rocker found post-playing career success in front of the camera. He made his acting debut in the 2002 horror comedy, the Greenskeeper, and would later appear on Spike TV's Pros vs. Joes and the 29th season of Survivor. The flamboyant former MLB relief pitcher will share a brief message with attendees before taking questions from the audience. Following the Q&A session, Rocker will be available for photos & autographs.
John Rocker’s 2017 Topic:
- TUNE UP with Special Guest John Rocker
BOBBY VALENTINE – Former MLB Manager
Bobby Valentine's time as a manager and player both in America and overseas allotted to an extremely successful and impressive 43-year professional baseball career. During his time as manager, in Major League Baseball and the Japanese Pacific League, he collected nearly 1800 victories while managing in just over 3300 games. He spent time with the New York Mets, Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox as well as two stints with Chiba Lotte Marines. He is second all-time on the Rangers managerial win list. He led the Mets to the National League Crown in 2000 before ultimately guiding the Marines to the Japan Series title in 2005. As a player, he was drafted fifth overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968. He spent 10 seasons in the majors, playing in well over 600 games. During that stretch, he showed his versatility and skill by making an appearance at every position on the field except for the pitcher. Off the field, Valentine spent time as a analyst for ESPN while he currently serves as Executive Director of Athletics at Sacred Heart University.
Bobby Valentine’s 2017 Topic:
- TALK’N BASEBALL with Special Guest Bobby Valentine
RUSS STEINHORN– Houston Astros
After spending three seasons as a hitting instructor in the Astros organization, Steinhorn now serves as the manager of the club's Dominican Republic Baseball Academy. At only 31-years of age, Steinhorn's impressive climb through the coaching ranks was highlighted by an outstanding performance as Deleware State University's assistant in 2012. The Steinhorn-led offense ranked 1st in NCAA Division 1 in hit-by-pitches and 2nd nationally in on-base percentage, runs scored, and runs scored per game. Prior to coaching at DSU, Steinhorn served as an assistant at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Russ Steinhorn’s 2017 Topics:
- Pitch Recognition: The #1 Tool Needed to Succeed as a Hitter
- The Analytical Advantage to Hitting: How Analytics, Statistics and Numbers Must Change Our Approach
- Coaching Without a Voice: Strategies to Become an Efficient Communicator
- DRILLS SESSION: Drills to Develop the Complete Hitter
JOE JORDANO – University of Pittsburgh
Jordano enters his 20th season at Pitt as the winningest coach in team history, with 536 victories. After building the Panther program into a regional power in the Big East, Jordano led the team's transition into the ACC in 2014. Now competing in the NCAA's premier baseball conference, Pitt entered the national spotlight by upsetting four nationally ranked teams in 2016. The 2016 season also saw five Panther's selected in the MLB draft, including the first 1st-round draftee in Jordano's tenure ( T.J. Zeuch, 21st overall pick). A well-respected clinician and ABCA convention speaker (2015), Jordano last presented at the PA Coaches Clinic in 2009.
Joe Jordano’s 2017 Topics:
- Building a Championship Foundation at all Levels
- Creating Practices that are Competitive and Gamelike
- Baserunning from A to Z
- DRILLS SESSION: Drills to Simulate Game Speed in Practice
JUSTIN DEHMER– One Pitch Warrior
Dehmer's record-setting 88-game winning streak as head coach at Martensdale-St. Mary's High School culminated with three consecutive Iowa state titles (2010-2012). Garnering national attention for his revolutionary approach to coaching, Dehmer launched 1 Pitch Warrior in 2012 to share his secrets to success. Captivating audiences across the country with his powerful message, Dehmer has appeared at conventions in 12 different states as well as the ABCA event (2014). Popular with PA Coaches Clinic attendees in 2013, Dehmer returns to Pittsburgh with presentations focusing on mastering the mental game and building team cohesion. Visit Dehmer's website at 1pitchwarrior.com to see all of the valuable resources 1 Pitch Warrior has to offer.
Justin Dehmer’s 2017 Topics:
- How Do You Measure the Process and Define Success (1PW Process Based Measurement)
- 1PW Lessons in Leadership
- Strengthening the Connection with Your Players
- DRILLS SESSION: Compete, Compete, Compete...Disguising Your Drills as Games
- DRILLS SESSION: Working with Parents VS. Dealing with Parents
ROLANDO GARZA – Pepperdine University and YOUNGJIN YOON - Lotte Giants (KBO)
A former MLB ninth round pick, Garza spent eight seasons in the minors before entering the coaching profession. Prior to joining the Pepperdine staff in 2015, Garza served as a pitching coach in the Los Angeles Angles organization and at Riverside City College. During his tenure at RCC, Garza embarked upon a unique journey to Korea to study the manner in which Southeast Asian pitchers are trained. His intensive research led to an ongoing collaboration with Youngjin Yoon, a strength coach in the Korean league. Together they have created a groundbreaking hybrid pitching philosophy that merges the American power pitching culture with Southeast Asian baseball developmental strategies. Recently featured in Collegiate Baseball, Garza and Yoon will be the first clinicians to present as a team in PA Coaches Clinic history!
Rolando Garza & Youngjin Yoon's 2017 Topics:
- 6 Pillars of Power Pitching (Part 1): Flexibility, Balance, & Body Control
- 6 Pillars of Power Pitching (Part 2): Quick Twitch, Rhythm & Tempo, and Explosion Movements
- 6 Pillars of Power Pitching (Part 3): Mental Conditioning, Skill Breathing, Focal Training, & Mental Imagery
- DRILLS SESSION: Balance Beam Drills to Enhance Direction and Proper Pitching Movements
- DRILLS SESSION: Hurdle Drills to Create Explosion and Body Control Within the Delivery
BOB MORGAN – Indiana University (retired)
Upon his retirement at Indiana University, Morgan ranked 11th on the all-time active wins list. He finished his career with a record of 1,070-586- 6 (.646) and was one of just 30 coaches in NCAA Division I baseball history with at least 1,000 career victories. In 22 years at IU, he had only three losing seasons. His exceptional resume also includes coaching stints at both The College of Wooster and Kent State University. During his time as a coach, Morgan helped over 50 players reach the professional ranks. A published author of numerous coaching manuals, Morgan is nationally- known for having a tremendous winning attitude and a superb ability to motivate players. He is a PA Coaches Clinic all-star that always draws rave reviews from the attendees.
Bob Morgan’s 2017 Topics:
- Pitching Fundamentals and Philosophy
- Hitting Techniques and Philosophy
- Infield Play and the Double Play
- DRILLS SESSION: Outfield Drills
- DRILLS SESSION: The Double Fungo Drill
MARLIN IKENBERRY - James Madison University
Ikenberry comes to the PA Coaches Clinic after completing his first year at James Madison. While still new at the university, Ikenberry is no stranger to the coaching world. He departed the Virginia Military Academy in 2014 as the institution's longest-serving head coach. During his tenure he racked up 282 wins, the most in program history. In addition, the Keydets posted the first three 30-win seasons in program history. Prior to his time at VMI, he spent three years at William and Mary as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. In 2000, his final season in Williamsburg, the Tribe racked up a school-record 32 wins. The following year, William and Mary won the only Colonial Athletic Association title in program history.
Marlin Ikenberry’s 2017 Topics:
- Catching Drills that Incorporate the Pitcher and Infielders
- Making Your Outfielders Better with a Daily Routine
- Strategies for Organizing Productive Batting Practices
- DRILLS SESSION: JMU's Top Skill-Building Drills for Catchers
MATT LISLE – The Hitting Vault
A professional hitting instructor for over 20 years, Lisle has become the internet's most followed hitting coach. With a philosophy centered around teaching and sharing, Lisle launched The Hitting Vault to help players at all levels of baseball and softball unlock their power. Lisle currently works with numerous MLB and NCAA players, and has had coaching stints at Menlo College, Santa Clara University, Cal State University - East Bay, and the University of Oregon. A firm believer that no difference exists between the mechanics of an elite baseball swing and an elite softball swing, Lisle will be presenting to both baseball and softball coaches at the 2017 PA Coaches Clinic.
Matt Lisle’s 2017 Topics:
- The Movement Patters of Elite Hitters
- Batter's Box Battle (The Mental Approach to Hitting)
- DRILLS SESSION: Hitting Drills from the Vault
JASON KUHN – Stonewall Solutions
After playing NCAA Division 1 baseball at Middle Tennessee State University and becoming a Navy Seal, Kuhn combined his athletic and military experiences to form Stonewall Solutions in 2014. Rapidly growing into the best team building, team culture, and mental skills instructional program available, Stonewall Solutions consults with professional, NCAA, and high school programs across the nation. Using a unique approach proven in combat and in competition, Kuhn trains coaches how to build a championship culture with players that thrive in adversity. Visit www.stonewall-solutions.com to learn more.
Jason Kuhn’s 2017 Topics:
- Commitment: Discipline VS. Desire (Mental Toughness)
- Five Team Culture Fundamentals (Fundamentals of Winning)
- DRILLS SESSION: Mental Checklists and Team-Building Activities
JIM CHESTER - Lock Haven University
Developing baseball players and coaches is something that Chester does wherever he goes. At his first collegiate post, he transformed Penn State Greater Allegheny into a powerhouse, leading the team to a 122-28 conference record in just seven seasons. He was named the conference's coach of the year three times while also being named the 2011 Chuck Tanner Collegiate Manager of the Year. In just his second season with the Bald Eagles, the club finished with the most wins in nearly a decade. But Western PA is not the only place Chester has made his mark. In the summer of 2014, he traveled with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to help organize and run baseball clinics for players and coaches in Cambodia as well.
Jim Chester’s 2017 Topics:
- No Resources, No $, No Field...No Problem: How to Build a Program on Nothing
- DO's & DONT'S: Absolutes for Middle Infield Play: Pre-Practice
DR. BRIAN HAGEN PhD, P.T.,JEFFREY LUCCHINO & DR. KELLIE MIDDLETON - UPMC SPORTS MEDICINE
As the region’s largest and most experienced provider of sports medicine services, UPMC Sports Medicine provides a wide range of world-class care to athletes of every age and skill level. Young or old, professional or amateur, UPMC Sports Medicine has the expertise to make a dynamic difference in the treatment and performance of athletes. Brian Hagan, Jeffrey Lucchino and Kellie Middleton all specialize in helping athletes prevent, treat and recover from injuries. The group has helped athletes and active individuals from all age ranges and all skill levels. If you want to help your players prevent or recover from injury, safely push the bound of their limitations, or hone their performance, UPMC Sports Medicine can help. ‘Gain an edge’ on the competition and learn from the best the world of sports medicine has to offer.
UPMC Sports Medicine’s 2017 Topics:
- Player Performance and Arm Care (Dr. Hagen, PhD, P.T.)
- The Complete Game Performance Plan (Lucchino)
- Softball from the Perspective of a Former College Athlete and Current Doctor (Dr. Middleton)
Dr. Kellie Middleton (left)
Jeffrey Lucchino (right)