By USA Baseball
DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced its 2015 15U National Team coaching staff Wednesday, led by manager, Jason Washburn. Washburn, the head coach at College Park High School (The Woodlands, Texas), served as an assistant coach on the 2014 15U National Team that won the silver medal at the WBSC 15U Baseball World Cup in Mazatlán, Mexico.
“Once again, we’re extremely pleased with how the 15U National Team coaching staff came together for this summer,” said Brooks Webb, USA Baseball’s 15U National Team program director. “Jason Washburn is a fantastic leader of young men, and has a proven track record of identifying national team talent. Outside of having Jason at the helm, we have an equally talented cast of coaches to travel internationally. As always, our goals are very high, and this staff more than understands that expectation level.”
Washburn also assisted at the 2010 and 2011 16U National Team Trials, as well as the 2012 and 2013 15U National Team Trials, before being named to his first national team coaching staff in 2014. The head coach at College Park High School since 2005, Washburn has led his team to district titles twice. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Washburn has been a head coach at the high school level since 1999.
Washburn will be joined in the dugout by assistant coaches, Javy Rodriguez and Mike Strickland, as well as pitching coach, Rob Shabansky, each who have previous experience with USA Baseball.
“Javy Rodriguez is one of the more instinctive guys in the game and has a gift in the way he teaches players both defensively and on the bases,” Webb said. “Mike Strickland is a hard-nosed coach who leads one of the most successful programs in the state of Georgia, and it’s very exciting to have him on staff. Rob Shabansky will oversee our pitchers this summer, and he’s a coach who’s been in these battles internationally and knows what to expect. Being able to add a two-time gold medalist to the staff will be crucial for the players both at trials and with Team USA as we embark on our journey internationally.”
Javy Rodriguez, the head coach at Gulliver Preparatory (Miami, Fla.) since 2008, returns to the 15U National Team coaching staff after assisting the program to a World Cup silver medal in 2015. Rodriguez’s time with the program includes serving as a 15U National Team Trials coach in 2013 and on the USA Baseball National Team Championships taskforce in 2011 and 2013. Rodriguez also served on the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series taskforce in 2013.
A graduate of the University of Miami (Fla.), Rodriguez was a two-time All-American and two-time national champion while setting the single-season stolen base record for the Hurricanes. As a high school head coach, Rodriguez has led the Gulliver Prep Raiders to the regional finals four times.
Rob Shabansky joins the coaching staff as the pitching coach, a role he served with the 16U National Team in 2010 and 2011 — winning gold medals both years. Shabansky, in his 10th season as the head coach at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, guided impressive pitching staffs in his previous stints with USA Baseball. In two years, Shabansky‘s 16U pitching staffs posted a 3.61 ERA with a 16-1 record while striking out 147 batters and issuing just 60 walks over 132 innings pitched.
A graduate of the University of Arizona, Shabansky was a standout pitcher for the Wildcats baseball program. In 1997, as a sophomore, Shabansky led the Wildcats in wins (8) and ERA (3.86). He was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1998 MLB First-Year Player Draft and played four seasons of professional baseball.
Mike Strickland will make his international debut with USA Baseball this summer after previously serving as a 15U National Team Trials coach. Strickland, the head coach at Marist School (Atlanta, Ga.) since 2006, has also worked with the National Team Identification Series, where he served as a coach and a member of the scouting taskforce.
Strickland led Marist to the state championship in 2010 and 2011, as well as a runner-up finish in 2013. He was named the AAAA Coach of the Year in 2003, 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2013. He also earned the prestigious Georgia Dugout Club Ethics in Coaching Award in 2012.
The staff will be tasked with defending the 15U National Team’s gold medal in the 2013 COPABE 15U Pan American Championship. The Pan American Championships are August 21 to 30 in Aguascalientes, Mexico, following National Team Trials, August 9 to 14, and National Team Training, August 15 to 20, both in Cary, N.C.