American Baseball Coaches Association
|Headquarters||Greensboro, North Carolina|
The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) is a baseball coaching organization. It was originally founded in 1945 as the American Association of College Baseball Coaches. Now, the ABCA comprises baseball coaches from all levels of amateur baseball, including youth, high school, travel ball, NAIA, JUCO and NCAA Divisions I, II and III, among others. The American Baseball Coaches Association believes that the highest calling of a baseball coach is to teach life's lessons and model the character traits of honesty, integrity, respect and personal responsibility.
The organization was originally named the American Association of College Baseball Coaches. Presidents have come from NCAA Divisions I, II & III, NAIA, junior college, and high school. The Association was behind the start of the creation of the College World Series, which now is conducted by the NCAA.
As of 2015, the Association has approximately 6,600 members with members from over 20 different countries, and includes coaches from all ranks of amateur baseball. Membership year for the ABCA runs from September 1 through August 31. Prior to the 2015-16 membership year the ABCA announced several new member benefits including free liability insurance, subscription to Inside Pitch magazine, Professional Development documentation for coaches that attend the convention and many new discounts from partner companies!
The ABCA hosts the world's largest baseball convention every January. The convention features meetings, clinics, trade show as well as several awards presentations and honors. Approximately 4,000 coaches attend the convention, which lasts for four days.
The 2016 Convention, which is the 72nd annual event, is scheduled in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland from January 7–10. The convention is on a rotating schedule with the 2017 convention scheduled for Anaheim, California, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana and the 2019 convention in Dallas, Texas.
A major draw are the nearly 30 clinic speakers each year. These include some of the most knowledgeable baseball coaches and minds in the world and are on-hand to share their experiences and expertise with fellow coaches. The 2015 line-up includes names such as 2014 National Champion coach Tim Corbin of Vanderbilt, legendary Florida State Head Coach Mike Martin, as well as the "Father of Modern Pitching Mechanics" Tom House.
At the ABCA Trade Show, over 325 companies fill up over 100,000 square feet of exhibit space and are on hand to display state-of-the-art equipment and products, including coaching aids, apparel, field equipment, pitching machines and software. Many products are displayed for the first time and some items are even raffled off as prizes.
Two highlights of each convention are the Honors Luncheon and the Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet. Both are held to present and honor individuals who have contributed significantly to the sport of baseball. Some of the individuals who have been recognized and honored at the Honors Luncheon have been President George H.W. Bush, Ray Kroc, John Grisham, Dick Enberg, Bobby Brown, John Moores, Sparky Anderson, Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Alderson, Michael Josephson, Bruce Brown, Cal Ripken, Jr, Nolan Ryan, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn and Mike Scioscia. The 2015 Honor Award Recipient is MLB commissioner-elect Rob Manfred. During the Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet, the induction of the ABCA's newest class of Hall of Famers takes place and the annual Lefty Gomez Award is also presented to an individual who has contributed at the highest level to the sport of baseball. The Regional Coaches and National Coaches of the Year from each division are introduced as well. The 2015 Lefty Gomez Award Recipient is Pat McMahon.
In addition, the convention is the place all of the committees meet to discuss their issues. There are 20 such committees not counting the Board, Executive Committee or the Standing Committee. Actions taken at all these meetings are taken to the Executive Committee.
Hall of Fame
Induction to the ABCA Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the ABCA organization. The ABCA Hall of Fame was established in 1966 with the inaugural 18 member class. The Hall of Fame Class of 2016 consists of four new members, Bob Babb (Johns Hopkins University), Augie Garrido (University of Texas), Sam Riggleman (Spring Arbor University), Ray Tanner (University of South Carolina). This year's class will be inducted on Friday, January 8, 2016 during the Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet at the annual ABCA Convention. This year's convention is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center and Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet tickets are $15.
The ABCA has selected All-American Teams in each division of the ABCA, as well as an All-American/Coach of the Year Committee, as well as All-Region Teams. Each division also selects a National Player of the Year, as well as All-Region Coaches of the Year and National Coaches of the Year. Each year, over 1,700 All-Region Players and 336 All-American Players are selected.
- Lefty Gomez Award (since 1962) - The Lefty Gomez Award is one of the most prestigious awards in all of amateur baseball. Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this award is presented by the American Baseball Coaches Association each year to an individual who has distinguished himself amongst his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is presented each year at the ABCA Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet at the ABCA Convention.
2015 Recipient: Pat McMahon
- ABCA Honor Award - The American Baseball Coaches Association's Honor Award is presented annually to individuals involved in baseball who have distinguished themselves and are recognized for achievements in their profession. It is presented during the Honors Luncheon on the third day of the convention.
2015 Recipient: Rob Manfred
- ABCA Meritorious Service Award - The Meritorious Service Award is presented to a person who has proven himself/herself in service to amateur baseball and the ABCA, and whose actions and involvement have resulted in a notable impact on the sport. Service may include years of participation, administration, contribution, innovation, or exposure/advancement of amateur baseball through media coverage.
2015 Recipient: Carma Brown
- ABCA Ethics in Coaching Award
2015 Recipient: Greg Hawk & David McDonald
- ABCA/Diamond Coaches of the Year:
- NCAA Division I National and Regional Coaches of the Year
- NCAA Division II National and Regional Coaches of the Year
- NCAA Division III National and Regional Coaches of the Year
- NAIA National and Regional Coaches of the Year
- NJCAA Division I National and Regional Coaches of the Year
- NJCAA Division II National and Regional Coaches of the Year
- NJCAA Division III National and Regional Coaches of the Year
- Pacific Association Division Coach of the Year
- High School National and Regional Coaches of the Year
Archives: Coaches of the Year
- ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year (college) (since 1999)
Archives: Assistant Coaches of the Year
- ABCA/Rawlings Players of the Year:
- NCAA Division I Player of the Year
- NCAA Division II Player of the Year
- NCAA Division III Player of the Year
- NAIA Player of the Year
- NJCAA Division I Player of the Year
- NJCAA Division II Player of the Year
- NJCAA Division III Player of the Year
- Pacific Association Division Player of the Year
- High School Player of the Year
Archives: Players of the Year
- ABCA/Rawlings All-Americans:
- NCAA Division I All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
- NCAA Division II All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
- NCAA Division III All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
- NAIA All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
- NJCAA Division I All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
- NJCAA Division II All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
- NJCAA Division III All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
- Pacific Association Division All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
- High School All-Americans (first, second, and third teams)
Archives: ABCA All-Americans
- ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Awards:
- NCAA Division I Gold Glove
- NCAA Division II Gold Glove
- NCAA Division III Gold Glove
- NAIA Gold Glove
- NJCAA Division I Gold Glove
- NJCAA Division II Gold Glove
- NJCAA Division III Gold Glove
- Pacific Association Division Gold Glove
- High School Gold Glove
Archives: ABCA Gold Gloves
- ABCA/Rawlings All-Region:
- NCAA Division I All-Region
- NCAA Division II All-Region
- NCAA Division III All-Region
- NAIA All-Region
- NJCAA Division I All-Region
- NJCAA Division II All-Region
- NJCAA Division III All-Region
- Pacific Association Division All-Region
- High School All-Region
Archives: All-Region Teams
In 2014, the ABCA launched ABCAvideos.org, which sells both Videos On Demand (VOD) and DVDs of detailed training and instruction from past clinic speakers. The ABCAvideos.org library features nearly 200 videos that range from 45 minutes to 1 hour in length. Topics of discussion include player development and positional play as well as coaching development. All coaches that attend the annual ABCA Convention receive that year's set of clinic videos free of charge. Current ABCA members also receive 30% off all ABCAvideos.org purchases.
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- "The Leader – Serving the communities of Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Mayport and Ponte Vedra Beach". Beachesleader.com. February 20, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
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- "2015 ABCA Convention". ABCA. Retrieved December 3, 2014.