Inspiration Academy

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Baseball Coaching Staff

Mario Jimenez

Mario Jimenez

Baseball Academy Director & Hitting Coach

My Story:

As an 18 year old graduate, I had little hope for a future in baseball. After working out for 25 different schools, I was told that there was no opportunity for me to play at the next level. Finally 1 school said yes and God turned that eventually into a pro career. God allowed that struggle in my life so that I could relate to players who are going through the same uncertainty in their career.

Professional Background:

Mario Jimenez is in his 5th year serving as the Baseball Director at Inspiration Academy (IA). Mario brings tremendous experience to IA serving as a Hitting Consultant for Professional baseball players from 14 different MLB teams. His clients include a National League Rookie of the Year, World Baseball Classic MVP award winner and two 1st round picks in the MLB Draft.
During his tenure at IA, Jimenez led the program to their first state championship in 2018. He has also overseen the baseball academy growing to its capacity and has helped establish a culture of accountability, teamwork and a Christ centered focus.
Before coming to IA, he was the General Manager and Director of Hitting at Bardo’s Diamond Sports in Parker, Colorado, where he helped grow the business into one of the premiere baseball academies in the country. From 2001-2011, Mario was with the IMG Baseball Academy in Bradenton as both a player and a coach including several stints as a head coach.
After finishing up his playing career in the professional Continental League, he spent two-plus seasons coaching and coordinating recruiting in college at Palm Beach Atlantic University under Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter.

Ski Giczewski

Ski Giczewski

Baseball Operations Manager

My Story:

 I support because IA took my son & turned his outlook on life around.  He was small for his age bullied by his High School Coach creating self confidence & esteem issues.  IA turned him around and he played college ball. His self worth, faith in Christ became an asset.  I saw what IA can do for a child’s life and I had to be apart of it. I love working with kids in a Christ centered atmosphere.

Professional Background:

  • Owned and operated a multi million dollar Landscape architectural  design build firm for 26 years.
  • Baseball Coach since 1995.  Coached ages t-ball thru College level.
  • Have been coaching at Inspiration academy since the summer of 2013. Became a full time coach and administrator at Inspiration Academy in 2016.
Kevin Kies

Kevin Kies

Recruiting Coordinator

My Story:

My passions in life are for Christ and baseball. I came to Inspiration Academy in August of 2017, and shortly after arriving discovered that it is the perfect place to pursue both of these desires of mine. I feel called to help and guide young men throughout new and often difficult times of their lives and blessed to be able to work with others who share the same goal. The future is bright for IA.

Professional Background:

  • B.A. Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Athletic Leadership Concentration) from Coastal Carolina University
  • Minor in Sports Coaching
  • 2014-2015 Pitcher at the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie
  • Varsity and JV baseball coach at Waccamaw High School in Pawleys Island, SC
  • Experience giving hitting/infield lessons and working as a camp instructor
Troy Mattes

Troy Mattes

Pitching Coordinator

My Story:

I have been part if this school and ministry for the last 4 years, and I truly love what the Lord is doing here. The staff here spends their lives serving Him and trying to fulfill the great commission. IA is an incredible place, and I can’t wait for my daughters to join me on campus when they’re old enough.

Professional Background:

Troy grew up in Sarasota and graduated from Riverview High School in 1993. He was drafted in the 16th round by the Montreal Expos in the 1993 Major League Amateur Draft, then signed with them after a successful season at Miami-Dade South Community College. Troy signed in 1994 with the Expos and spent 10 years with the organization.  On June 19, 2001 he made his Major League debut with the Expos in Shea Stadium against the New York Mets.  His professional playing career lasted 13 years, throwing over 1,100 innings.

Although several injuries shortened his playing career, he followed his love and passion for the game and continued as a pitching coach with the Baltimore Orioles’ organization. In his time with the O’s, he had the opportunity to work with and help develop dozens of future Major Leaguers which include Zach Britton, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jake Arrieta, Zach Davies, and Dylan Bundy. After 6 successful years of coaching at the professional level, he decided to remain closer to home with his growing family. Troy took over as the Pitching Coordinator at Inspiration Academy in 2014.

Rich Clover

Rich Clover

Analytics Director

My Story:

 

Professional Background:

 

 

Matt Bowman

Matt Bowman

Athletic Director & College Counselor

My Story:

The Lord called me to be a part of what is being done here at Inspiration Academy. I wanted to work for an educational institution that shares my passion and value for excellence through academic, athletic, and spiritual development in a Christ-centered environment. These are a unique blend of ideals and characteristics that I highly value and this happens to be exactly what is offered at IA.

Professional Background:

Brian Commerford

Brian Commerford

Strength Coach

My Story:

 I came to IA because it combines two things that I am very passionate about, Strength Training and leading others toward Jesus. I came to faith in college where I got involved with Athletes in Action, a sports ministry. My wife Natalie and I were heavily involved in the AIA ministry though out our time at Hendrix and then we joined part time field staff for AIA for 2 years at Arkansas Tech.

Professional Background:

 Prior to Inspiration Academy, I was at Arkansas Tech University from 2016 to 2018 where I served as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Baseball, Cheer, and Dance teams while assisting with Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Volleyball, and Golf.  Prior to Arkansas Tech, I wrote the Strength and Conditioning programs for Hendrix College Baseball for the 2016-17 season.  While still in undergrad, in 2015 & 2016 I wrote and implamented strength and conditioning programs for Conway Jr. High’s Men’s Basketball and Women’s Volleyball Teams.

  • Bachelors degree in Kinesiology and Education from Hendrix College and a Masters in Science in Strength and Conditioning from Arkansas Tech University.
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and am also certified by United States Weightlifting Level 1 (USAW)
Oscar Garcia

Oscar Garcia

Outfield Coach

My Story:

From Caracas, Venezuela. Graduated from Concord University with a business finance and sports management degrees. Inspiration Academy is a great fit to grow as a coach and in my faith, while I share my life experiences.

Professional Background:

  •  College baseball player at Concord University (2013-2018)
Ben Garrett

Ben Garrett

Catching Coach

My Story:

 I moved to the Bradenton, Florida area from Muncie, Indiana. I served at a juvenile detention/treatment center and coached high school and travel baseball before coming here. I am passionate about serving youth and I am passionate about the game of baseball so I am very thankful I can serve in this capacity at IA. I am excited to grow and learn in my faith while walking alongside our players.

Professional Background:

 I was a catcher for 12 years and started coaching the game 3 years ago at the high school level. During the summer I worked for the Indiana Primetime organization as a 15u coach.

Jordon Little

Jordon Little

Pitching Coach

My Story:

 I chose IA because I wanted to be able to share the knowledge I have gained playing baseball in order to help better the kids I got to work with. I also love that I get the opportunity to mentor the students here and see them grow in their faith.

Professional Background:

 

  •  Assistant middle school baseball coach at Pottstown Middle School (in PA).
Wade Satzinger

Wade Satzinger

In-field Coach

My Story:

 Born and raised in Andover, Minnesota. Come from a family of four, Mom, Dad, and my brother. I enjoy the outdoors and being active. I chose IA because it gives me the opportunity to coach the sport I love while sharing and growing in my faith.

Professional Background:

 Prior to Inspiration Academy, I was at Arkansas Tech University from 2016 to 2018 where I served as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Baseball, Cheer, and Dance teams while assisting with Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Volleyball, and Golf.  Prior to Arkansas Tech, I wrote the Strength and Conditioning programs for Hendrix College Baseball for the 2016-17 season.  While still in undergrad, in 2015 & 2016 I wrote and implamented strength and conditioning programs for Conway Jr. High’s Men’s Basketball and Women’s Volleyball Teams.

Bachelors degree in Kinesiology and Education from Hendrix College and a Masters in Science in Strength and Conditioning from Arkansas Tech University.

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and am also certified by United States Weightlifting Level 1 (USAW)

Dalton Tharp

Dalton Tharp

Pitching Coach

My Story:

 I chose IA because of the impact that IA could have on me and the impact I wanted to have on the younger generation.

Professional Background:

 Before coming to IA, I spent four years coaching high school baseball in Northwest Arkansas. This past summer I spent my time coaching in a collegiate summer league in Rock Hill, SC. This is my second year coaching at IA.

Mario Jimenez, Sr.

Mario Jimenez, Sr.

Assistant Coach

My Story:

 

Professional Background:

Chuck Sandberg

Chuck Sandberg

Assistant Coach

My Story:

 I thoroughly enjoy working w/ these young men in the sport of baseball.., not only athletically, but mentoring them on a daily basis as well, & prayerfully in the spirit of Jesus Christ.., everyday is an exciting opportunity in sharing Gods’ word while enjoying the awesome game of baseball…I’m sincerely blessed being a part of the IA team.

Professional Background:

  •  MS in Health Education from Nova University, & earning a BS in Journalism while playing @ UF. All-SEC  1st Baseman.
  • Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1979, played 4 years in that organization.

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