Jeff Willis, the American Baseball Coaches Association's Junior College Division Chair, has been voted by the ABCA Executive Committee to simultaneously serve on the ABCA Board of Directors. The vote took place during the ABCA Executive Committee meeting on Friday, January 6th during the 2023 ABCA Convention in Nashville. Willis fills the seat vacated by Jim Cahill, head coach at North Forsyth High School, who was voted by the ABCA membership in Fall 2022 to serve as the association's Fourth Vice President in 2023. Cahill is remaining on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee in his Vice Presidential role.
Willis is a 21-year ABCA member who currently serves as both head coach and Director of Athletics at LSU Eunice. Willis has been named an ABCA Regional Coach of the Year 11 times and has garnered seven ABCA NJCAA Div. II National Coach of the Year honors. Willis owns a 942-213 (.815) career record and his Bengals teams have achieved a No. 1 ranking in the NJCAA Div. II polls in 15 of his 20 seasons at the helm. His teams have never finished ranked lower than seventh in the country and have won seven NJCAA Div. II national titles, which is tied for the most by one school in NJCAA history.
In his role on the ABCA Executive Committee, Willis represents all divisions of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The ABCA Executive Committee meets twice annually –– once on the Wednesday prior to the start of the ABCA Convention and once on the Friday during the Convention. The committee is charged with reviewing the business and affairs of the Association and its committees in accordance with the policies of the Association and Board of Directors. The current ABCA President (Jim Schlossnagle of Texas A&M), most recent Past President (Rick Hitt of South Florida State College) and all four Vice Presidents serve on the committee. They are joined by the Chair of the Diversity in Baseball Committee as well. Also, each division –– NCAA Div. I, II & III, NAIA, Junior College, High School, Youth and Travel Baseball –– is represented by a Divisional Chair that is voted on by that division's membership to represent them on the committee. Three of the Divisional Chair members are then voted on by the Executive Committee to serve simultaneous three-year terms on the association's Board of Directors.
In his now expanded role within the association, Willis joins Rob Hahne, the ABCA's Youth Baseball Division Chair, and Scott Laverty, the ABCA's NCAA Div. III Chair, as the current members of the Executive Committee that are serving on the Board of Directors. The ABCA Board of Directors is the group in charge of leading the largest amateur baseball coaching association in the World. The Board consists of all past ABCA Presidents, the current ABCA President and Vice Presidents and the three Divisional Chairs from the Executive Committee.
The mission of the Board of Directors, as outlined in the ABCA Bylaws, is to establish the policy and principles of conducting the affairs of the Association, act on Constitution and Bylaw revisions, adopt proposed budgets and oversee financial affairs of the Association and employ the ABCA staff to efficiently conduct the business of the organization. The Board of Directors meets four times annually, twice during the ABCA Convention and twice in Omaha, Neb. during the NCAA Div. I College World Series.
ABCA Board of Directors