Interview with ABCA Hall of Famer Sam Riggleman

Sam RigglemanHaving eclipsed the 1,000-win mark in 2015, Spring Arbor University head Coach Sam Riggleman is one of the four-member 2016 ABCA Hall of Fame class. Since 2005, he has led the Cougars to a 358-190 record with five NAIA National Tournament appearances, three regular season conference championships, two conference tournament titles and a runner-up finish in the 2007 NAIA World Series. His career record of 1,004-639-2 has been recorded over nearly four decades at SAU, Dallas Baptist, Bethel College, Southern Illinois and Mount Vernon Nazarene.

IP: What does it mean to you to be recognized as a Hall of Famer? Continue reading

Interview with Dave Klontz, Heath (Oh.) High School

klontzThe ABCA Ethics in Coaching Award is awarded annually to a person who has answered coaching’s highest calling- to teach life’s lessons and model the character traits of honesty, integrity, respect and personal responsibility.

For a half-century, Dave Klontz has done exactly that.

The longtime head coach of Heath (Oh.) High School has led the Bulldogs to a pair of state championships (2002, 2007) to go with three regional, seven district and 17 sectional titles. Having been involved with the Bulldog program for 50 years, Klontz has been named Coach of the Year at various levels a staggering 26 times and has been named a Hall of Famer four times (Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association, Heath High School Athletics; Mid-State (Ohio) League; Central District (Ohio) Baseball Coaches).

As decorated as he is in terms of on-field accolades, Klontz is quick tell you his work off the field is much more instrumental. He was a Physical Education and Heath teacher at Heath for 39 years and has served 36 years as the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) advisor. He also coached football for 36 years and has served as a city councilman and Parks and Charter board member.

Inside Pitch sat down with Klontz to talk about his latest achievement and just what has made his experience as a baseball coach so special.

IP: What was your experience like as a player at Heath High School and how did you first get involved with coaching? Continue reading

Let’s play ball!

A “tip of the hat” to Craig Keilitz and his staff for once again organizing the largest and finest baseball clinic in the world. The 2016 version of the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention will not only have an incredible lineup of speakers with well over 4,000 coaches in attendance, but there will also be dozens of committee meetings, board meetings, a phenomenal group of sporting goods exhibits and some first class social events. Behind the scenes, coaches will be sharing ideas, debating philosophies and talking baseball “until the cows come home!” Continue reading

ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz on the his state of mind, the states he’s been in, and the state of college baseball

IP: What has your experience in college athletics been like?

Craig Keilitz: “I always wanted to be involved in college athletics, certainly after seeing firsthand just how much my father [Dave, who served in college athletics for 50 years as a coach, athletic director and ABCA executive director] got out of it.” Continue reading

My first ABCA Convention

article by Justin Brown

article by Justin Brown

Friday January 2nd, 2015

8:30am: The wheels of a Boeing 737 have landed on the ground in Orlando, Florida. I’m on board and heading to my first American Baseball Coaches Association convention. There is an excited nervousness internally, not really knowing what to expect. I’m hopeful to learn from some of the best baseball coaches in the world. What an opportunity.

11:05am: I’m checking in to the ABCA convention. I’ve received my first bag of information as well as my badge. My membership card lists the number one. This is my first trip, I wonder how many years I can record being at this event.

12:01pm: I get my first gaze at the ABCA Trade Show. It almost feels like an amusement park. An amusement park full of anything you can think of in baseball related equipment. I start walking up and down the aisles, which seem to go on for miles. In between exhibits I bump into coaching friends and colleagues.

6:30pm: All of the coaches are breaking out into divisional meetings. It is an awesome opportunity to discuss and deliberate over meaningful rule changes for each division of baseball. It is a really impactful experience to witness a governing body of baseball enact change in meaningful areas of the game. The mood in the room feels like a courtroom as sides discuss multiple angles on issues related to the organization.

11:00pm: Heading to bed after a long day of travel. I’m very excited to see what tomorrow has in store. Continue reading

The ABCA corner, Fall 2015

ABCAABCA to offer free Personal Liability Insurance for 2015-16

In addition to helping put on the most popular amateur baseball convention in the world, your ABCA fees going towards another intriguing benefit.

The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) is providing $1 million in Personal Liability Insurance to all members in the United States beginning Sept. 1, a new membership benefit for 2015-16. Provided by K&K Insurance Group, this coverage typically comes into play when a lawsuit is filed against the coach for bodily injury or property damage. Continue reading