Inspiration Academy

Inspire • Innovate • Mentor

Meet our coaching team.

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 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.

Professional Background:

  • Baseball Director at Inspiration Academy (IA) since 2014
  • Hitting Consultant for Professional players from 14 different MLB teams
  • Clients include a National League Rookie of the Year, World Baseball Classic MVP award winner and two first round picks in the MLB Draft
  • Led Inspiration Academy to two State Championship in 2018-2019
  • General Manager and Director of Hitting at Bardo’s Diamond Sports in Parker, Colorado
  • Coached at IMG Baseball Academy from 2001-2011
  • Played professionally in the Continental League
  • Assistant coach and Recruiting coordinator at Palm Beach Atlantic University under Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter
Curt Wilson

Curt Wilson

Director of Player Development

My Story:

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.

Professional Background:

  • Hitting instructor for professional players from 12 different MLB organizations
  • Director of Hitting at Inspiration Academy
  • Field Coordinator at Inspiration Academy
  • Varstiy Head Coach at Inspiration Academy
  • Curt has been at Inspiration from 2013-2017 and returned in 2019
Brian Commerford

Brian Commerford

Strength & Conditioning 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:

  • Bachelors degree in Kinesiology and Education from Hendrix College
  • Masters in Science in Strength and Conditioning from Arkansas Tech University
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • Certified by United States Weightlifting Level 1 (USAW)
  • NCSA Strength of America Award 2020-2023
  • At Arkansas Tech University he served as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the baseball, cheer, and dance teams from 2016 to 2018, assisted with football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, and golf.
Troy Mattes

Troy Mattes

Pitching Coordinator

My Story:

I have been part of this ministry for the last 4 years, and I truly love what The Lord is doing here. Our staff spends their lives serving God 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.

Professional Background:

  • Drafted in the 16th round by the Montreal Expos in the 1993 Major League Amateur Draft
  • Signed after a successful season at Miami-Dade South Community College
  • Spent 10 years of his 13 year career in the Expos organization
  • On June 19, 2001 he made his Major League debut with the Expos at Shea Stadium against the New York Mets
  • Coached with in the Baltimore Orioles organization for 6 years
  • Major Leaguers he has coached include Zach Britton, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jake Arrieta, Zach Davies, and Dylan Bundy
  • Pitching Coordinator at Inspiration Academy from 2014-present
Chris Petersen

Chris Petersen

Hitting Coach

My Story:

I think God every day for the doors he has opened and closed in my life, leading me to where I am today. Through him, IA has open their doors to me, and I feel very blessed to be a part of a staff and organization serving others. I am excited to be able to walk alongside the young men and women here, on their journey in faith and success, as they become a positive impact for member of society.

Professional Background:

  • Shortstop at Georgia Southern University and appeared in the 1990 College World Series.
  • Drafted in the ninth round by the Chicago cubs.
  • Play 12 seasons of professional baseball with the Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Braves, including major-league time with the Colorado Rockies in 1999.
  • Head of baseball operations at Champion sports complex in Orlando Florida.
  • Owned and operated launchpad indoor baseball training facility in Orlando Florida.
  • Minor league hitting coach for the Pittsburgh pirates.
  • 108 hitting certified
  • Rapsodo hitting certified
  • On base U hitting certified
  • Coaching baseball and softball players and coaches for over 20 years in all aspects of the game including fundamentals, mechanics, movement pattern analysis, skill acquisition, and mental conditioning.
Collin Wilber

Collin Wilber

Catching Coordinator

My Story:

I grew up in Yorktown, Virginia. I come from a family of five. In 2019, I moved to Florida to be apart of IA because it allowed me to continue to grow in coaching the sport I love and also allows me to grow in my faith.

Professional Background:

  • Bachelor Degree in Sport Management from Eastern Michigan University
  • Coached High School baseball at his alma mater, Grafton High School.
  • Student Assistant at Eastern Michigan University
  • Assistant Coach at Concordia University Ann Arbor as the hitting and catching Coach.
  • Won the 2019 NCCAA World Series
  • Collin is in his second year at Inspiration Academy

 

    Jerry Beard

    Jerry Beard

    Post Grad Pitching Coach

    My Story:

    I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the Inspiration Academy Baseball program since the 2019.  I moved to Florida from Ohio where I coached collegiately for 5 years. At Inspiration Academy, I have found a great opportunity to pursue my faith while coaching and mentoring the next generation of athletes.

    Professional Background:

    • BFA Degree in Graphic Design from Ohio Northern University
    • Played one year at University of Cincinnati Clermont and three years at Ohio Northern University
    • Coached two years at Ada High School in Ada, OH
    • Assistant Coach at Ohio State University-Lima for four years
    • Assistant Coach at Ohio Northern Universtiy for one year where he helped lead them to back-to-back Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament apparences
    • Jerry is in his second year as the Post Grad Pitching Coach 
    Jacob Lentz

    Jacob Lentz

    Assistant Outfield Coach

    My Story:

    I wanted to pursue this opportunity because it’s the perfect place to begin this coaching chapter of my life.  The ability to coach with complete freedom while learning from other great baseball minds is something that doesn’t come around often.  The coaching staff has to be one of the best in the country at any level.  More importantly, this program stands for its devotion to molding young men in the image of Christ.  Pushing the development of young Christian athletes is an experience I truly can’t thank God enough for.

    Professional Background:

    • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Chicago State University.
    • Played in the Western Athletic Conference collegiately as a member of the Chicago State Cougars baseball team.
    • Played two years of Independent Professional Baseball with The Bakersfield Train Robbers and the Roswell Invaders.
    • Worked previously in special Education at Midway High School in Waco, Texas.

    Rayson Romero

    Rayson Romero

    Assistant Infield Coach

    My Story: 

     IA offered a unique opportunity for me to grow in the game of baseball and in my faith. I am blessed to be around a group of learners who take it upon themselves to develop athletes into young men. I look forward to being relatable with the infielders at IA, and teaching them skills that can hopefully propel their playing careers.

    Professional Background:

    • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Sonoma State University (CA)
    • California Collegiate Athletic Association Baseball All-Conference Team – Shortstop
    • Sonoma Stompers Independent Professional Baseball 2018-2019
    • Physical Education teacher at high school alma mater Saint Louis School in Honolulu, HI
    • Saint Louis School Varsity Baseball Assistant Coach
    Mario "Senior" Jimenez

    Mario "Senior" Jimenez

    Recruitment & Coaching Assistant

    My Story:

    I am a father to 5 boys, including Mario Jimenez Jr., and 1 girl.

    Professional Background:

    • 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. 

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