Baseball Coaching Staff
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 one school said yes. Eventually, God turned that experience 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
My love and passion for the game of baseball drove me into the coaching. After linking up with former teammate Mario Jimenez, my journey to find the perfect baseball swing was started. While I use my knowledge and passion for the mechanics of the baseball swing to connect with players, my love is to see them grow not only on the field, but off the field as men and in faith as well.
Curt Wilson returns to Inspiration Academy to begin his 5th year with the program. Wilson, whose first stint (2013 – 2017) with the organization began during its inaugural year in 2013, has helped to shape the academy into the regional powerhouse it is today.
He has held roles including hitting coach and was promoted several times over the course of his first four years including a stint as Field Coordinator, Director of Hitting, Head Varsity Coach.
Wilson now returns as the director of player development, where he will be charged with individualizing each player’s plan for development both in-season and in the off-season.
Wilson has also had success working with professional players from 12 different MLB organizations and hundreds of college and high school hitters.
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.
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)
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.
- 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.
Coach Mario Jimenez Sr.
I am a father to 5 boys, including Mario Jimenez Jr., and 1 girl.
- Second-year Inspiration Academy Baseball Assistant Recruiting Coordinator
- Played and lettered in Baseball and Football at Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport CT.
- Graduate of Rhema Bible Training College in Broken Arrow, OK.
- Physical Education Instructor at Living Word Ministries in West Haven CT.
- Counselor Life Challenge Ministries Amarillo TX.
I grew up in Yorktown, VA & come from a family of 5. I chose IA because it gave me a chance to continue to grow in coaching the sport I love in addition to growing in my faith.
Prior to IA, I spent 1 year coaching high school baseball at my alma mater, Grafton High School. After that, I moved to Michigan where I worked as a student assistant at Eastern Michigan University & served as a hitting & catching instructor at a facility in Metro Detroit. In 2018-2019, I served as an assistant coach, coaching the hitters & catchers, at Concordia University Ann Arbor where we won the 2019 NCCAA World Series.Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management from Eastern Michigan University.