The American Baseball Coaches Association officially welcomed its newest officers at the conclusion of the 73rd annual national convention held in Anaheim, California. Since being founded in 1945, the ABCA has introduced its newest members to the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Standing Committee at each year’s convention.
The Executive Committee meets twice annually at the ABCA Convention and is comprised of the current President along with the first, second, third and fourth vice-presidents, the immediate past president, a divisional chair from each amateur division (NCAA Div. I, II, III, NAIA, Junior College, High School and Youth) and a Sergeant at Arms.
Jeff Messer, Slippery Rock University head coach, will serve as the 2017 ABCA President. Messer served as First Vice President last year under 2016 President and Tufts University head coach, John Casey. All Presidents must work through the entire vice presidential ranks before becoming President.
Casey will remain on the Executive Committee as the immediate past president and will remain on the Board of Directors as a past president.
Rich Maloney, Ball State University, has transitioned from Second Vice President to First Vice President in 2017. As Second VP, Maloney coordinated the clinic presenters at the 2017 ABCA Convention in Anaheim along with John Kolasinski of Siena Heights University, who has moved into the role of Second Vice President after being Third VP in 2016. Kolasinski will now be charged with the duty of arranging the clinic lineups along with new Third Vice President Stu Fritz of Hope College, who is the new Third Vice President after serving as Fourth VP a year ago.
University of Louisville head coach, Dan McDonnell, has become the Fourth Vice President. The ABCA membership voted McDonnell to serve as the 2017 Fourth VP. As Fourth VP, McDonnell is no longer able to serve as the NCAA Division I Chair on the ABCA Executive Committee. Jim Schlossnagle, TCU, was voted to replace McDonnell during the ABCA/NCAA Division I Coaches' Meeting at the 2017 Convention.
2017 Executive Committee
President: Jeff Messer, Slippery Rock University
First Vice President: Rich Maloney, Ball State University
Second Vice President: John Kolasinski, Siena Heights University
Third Vice President: Stu Fritz, Hope College
Fourth Vice President: Dan McDonnell, University of Louisville
Immediate Past President: John Casey, Tufts University
Executive Director: Craig Keilitz, ABCA
NCAA Division I Chair: Jim Schlossnagle, TCU
NCAA Division II Chair: Gary Vaught, University of Indianapolis
NCAA Division III Chair: Stuart Fritz, Hope College
NAIA Chair: Scott Dulin, Fisher College
Junior College Chair: Rick Hitt, South Florida State College
High School Chair: Tim Saunders, Dublin Coffman (Ohio) High School
Youth Chair: Jim Peck, Excelsior Legion Post 259 (Minn.)
Sergeant at Arms: Bob Whalen, Dartmouth College
Board of Directors
The ABCA Board of Directors is comprised of all past presidents, the current president and vice presidents, and three divisional chair members of the Executive Committee, which are voted on by the Executive Committee members.
The Board of Directors direct the business and affairs of the Association throughout the year, meeting four times annually. The Board of Directors convene twice during the annual ABCA Convention and twice during the NCAA Division I College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
Gary Vaught, NCAA Division II Chair and head coach at University of Indianapolis, is the newest appointee to the Board of Directors. Vaught joins the Board as one of the three divisional chair members from the Executive Committee and fills the open seat vacated by McDonnell. Vaught joins the other two divisional chair members already on the Board, Rick Hitt, NJCAA Division Chair and South Florida State College head coach as well as Tim Saunders, High School Division Chair and head coach at Dublin Coffman (Ohio) High School.
McDonnell will continue to serve on the Board of Directors as Fourth Vice President. 2016 President, John Casey, will also continue to serve on the Board as a past president.
The Standing Committee is comprised of the Chairman of the Board of Directors, current President, three past presidents from the Board and two members of the Board who also serve on the Executive Committee as a divisional chair.
Per the ABCA by-laws, the Standing Committee directs the affairs of the Association, as needed, between regular meetings of the Board of Directors.
Saunders has been appointed to the Standing Committee in 2017 as a Divisional Chair. Saunders was voted to replace McDonnell, who can no longer serve on the committee as Fourth Vice President, by the Board of Directors.
2017 Standing Committee
Chairman of the Board: Mark Johnson
President: Jeff Messer
Past President: Sonny Pittaro
Past President: Ed Flaherty
Past President: Carroll Land
Divisional Chair: Rick Hitt
Divisional Chair: Tim Saunders
A full list of the 2017 ABCA Board of Directors and Officers can be found here.