Past Editions:
8th EBCA Convention
2011 PRAGUE (CZ)


Jim Jones

ISG President

Jim Jones has over 40 years of baseball coaching experience at the youth, high school, college, semi-pro and international levels. He served as assistant coach at Stanford University before becoming head coach at the University of Wyoming and St. Mary’s College (CA). Presently he is retired from teaching and serves as President of International Sports Group, Inc.

In 1991, Jim began his international experience by becoming coach in residence in Czechoslovakia as part of a IBA-MLBI program. Following that “Lone Ranger” assignment, he served with Bill Arce as MLBI’s Co-coordinator of Game Development in Europe. His duties there allowed him to over-see the selection and evaluation of Envoy Coaches assigned to various European federations as well as overseeing many of MLBI’s winter coaches’ clinics.

When his MLB duties took him further away from the baseball field and into the administration offices, Jim decided he wanted to return to activities that allowed him to work directly with European coaches and players. That desire allowed him to take a new path in international baseball - an assignment with the Czech Baseball Association to serve as a national consultant as well as head coach of the National Junior and Under 23 Teams. He also worked as pitching coach for the Czech National Men’s team through the 2001 European Championships.

The summer of 2002 found Jim working as a MLB Envoy Coach with the French Baseball Federation - spending the majority of his time with the National Cadet and University Teams in international competition.

From 2003 to 2006 Coach Jones worked as an Envoy Coach in Spain. During his trips to Spain he has worked with local clubs, schools, regional federations and the national team programs. The 2003 Senior Team finished 3rd in the European Championships and qualified for the World Cup. In the summer of 2005, Jim worked primarily with the National Senior and Junior teams, concentrating on the pitching and catching areas of the programs. Both of the 2005 Spanish teams finished 3rd in the European Championships and the Senior team participated in the World Cup in Holland.

At the 2006 European Baseball Coaches Association's winter convention, Jim received EBCA's Achievement Award in recognition of his work in European Baseball since the early 1990's.

During the summer of 2007 Coach Jones was an MLB Envoy Coach in Holland where he worked with coaches and players throughout southern Holland. Since 2008, Jim was the regional coordinator for the MLB Envoy programs in Portugal and Spain. He has spent the summers of 2008 & 2009 working the top young players and coaches in both countries.

The past two Springs Coach Jones worked with the French Baseball Academies in Toulouse, Rouen, Montpellier and Talence, helping them prepare for various up coming international tournaments. During June 2010, Jim served as head coach of the Armed Forces team, US9, during an exhibition tour in Western Wisconsin.

An additional international opportunity arose in 1998 when he joined with Bill Arce and International Sports Group to take over the administration of the winter baseball and softball clinics. The demand for coaching clinics remains high in Europe and ISG is committed to fulfill that game development need with the help of outside sponsorship.

Jim has had the opportunity to work with players of all ages and coaches from many European countries as well as staging baseball camps in New Zealand. These experiences combine with his USA coaching to give him a strong background to help game development programs in those federations desiring outside assistance.

Jim and his wife, Sally, have two grown sons.

Derek Johnson

Vanderbilt University

10th Season at Vanderbilt
- 2004 National Pitching Coach of the Year
- Alma Mater: Eastern Illinois '94

Derek Johnson is in his 10th year as a coach at Vanderbilt and his second as Associate Head Coach. Johnson has spent the last nine seasons as the Commodores pitching coach and is regarded as one of the top teachers in collegiate baseball.

In 2010 Johnson was named the ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year.

On his watch, 34 pitchers have been drafted including 28 over the last six years and 8 in 2011.

Before he came to Vanderbilt, Johnson spent four years as pitching coach at Stetson. During that time his teams won one Atlantic Sun Conference championship (2000) and earned two NCAA Tournament berths (2000 and 2001).

He began coaching at Eastern Illinois in 1994, one year after he was an All Mid-Continent Conference pitcher at the school. In 1995 he was hired by Southern Illinois, where he worked for three years as a pitching coach. He also has had summer stints as manager of the Decatur Blues in the Central Illinois Collegiate League (1994-95) and pitching coach for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots (1996).

A native of Normal, Ill., Johnson is married to the former Tasha Huster. The couple has a seven-year old son, Teague, and a four-year old daughter, Taite. 

Dave Hajek

Colorado Rockies

1986-1989 Attended Cal Poly Pomona University - played 3 years for Hall of Fame Coach, John Scolinos

Two time All-American selection

1988 Invited to Team USA (Olympics Year) tryout, one of only 3 Division 2 players to be invited

Graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of Architectural Design degree

1989 Signed as a free agent with the Houston Astros

1990-1999 Played 10 years of professional baseball with Astros, Tigers, Padres and Rockies reaching the big leagues with Houston is September of 1995 total of 70 days major league service time over two seasons ('95-'96) played majority of career in AAA ('94-'99)

- Coaching in the Colorado Rockies organization at Single A Asheville, Modesto and Double A Tulsa as hitting coach 
- Private hitting and infield instructor in Colorado Springs, CO

Has been a Guest Speaker at baseball clinics in Colorado and several other states covering hitting and infield

Marco Mazzieri

Team Italy

Born December 20, 1962 in Grosseto, Tuscany Italy

Marco Mazzieri became manager of the Italian national team in 2007.

He played from 1982-2000 for Grosseto as an outfielder, helping them to two titles in Serie A1. He hit .297/.403/.400 in his career and stole 234 bases in 305 tries, scoring 958 runs over 1,022 games with 1182 hits).

Mazzieri played 87 games for the Italian national team as well.

He also played for Italy in the 1986, 1988, 1990 Baseball World Cups, in the Intercontinental Cup 1989 and in 1985,87,89 European Cups.

Marco coached for Grosseto, leading them to the semifinals in 2002.

Mazzieri managed the Italian Cadets team in the Babe Ruth World Series in 2003, then the Junior national team for the European Cup in 2005 and 2007 (winning the Title in 2007 after 6 years) and in he Junior World Cup in Cuba in 2006.

In October 2007 he took over as the Manager of the senior national team after a disappointing 7th-place finish in the 2007 European Championship.

Mazzieri guided Italy to a 3-4 record in the 2007 Baseball World Cup. They were the only team to beat the Gold Medalist Team USA but they lost their last three games to miss the quarterfinals.

Mazzieri was skipper of Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and then took them to the title in the 2010 European Championship, their first Gold Medal in the event since 1997 and to the first time ever Bronze Medal in the 2010 last Intercontinenal Cup in Taiwan (beating Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei). 

Andy Berglund

Team Czech Republic

Without a doubt, Andrew Berglund is one of the most experienced Baseball coaches working in all of Europe.

During his playing days, the U.S. native played multiple positions, gaining experience in the infield, outfield, as well as on the mound.

While in University, he already started coaching--mainly youth baseball, in the US as well as in Europe and Australia.

In 2002, Berglund came to Europe to play in Sweden, where he hooked up with the Alby Stars. While playing, Berglund also coached the Eliteserien team.

In 2006, after working on his Masters Degree in Communication from the North Dakota State University, Andrew set his sights on Europe for good. He came back to Alby to serve as a player-coach.

After taking a year off from coming to Northern Europe in 2007, Berglund made the switch to the Stockholm Baseball club, which he led to its first ever Swedish Championship, again as a player-coach. In 2009 his knowledge and involvement in Swedish baseball helped him become a member of the coaching staff of the Swedish Senior National Team.

As an assistant, he was part of the Sweden team that participated in the World Cup which was played in Europe. Sweden hosted pool C, competing against Canada, South Korea and the Netherlands Antilles.

In 2011, a new chapter in Berglund’s coaching career began: Berglund was named the head coach for both the junior and senior national teams of the Czech Baseball Federation. Besides leading the national teams on the playing field, Berglund also is involved in the Czech MLB Baseball Academy and coaches the Prague Eagles of the Czech League. Only a few months after taking the leadership of Czech National Program, he led the Czech Junior National Team to its first medal ever, a silver in Gijon, Spain.

During his development as a player and coach, Berglund has helped guide ballplayers in different capacities in the US and overseas.

He has worked in all aspects from graduate assistant to head coach. He has been a coach for the Major League Baseball Envoy Coaches program multiple times. Further, he served as a successful head high school coach at Sage Hill School in Newport Coast, California.

During the offseason, Andrew has taught as an instructor at the Orange County Gladiator Baseball Academy, ProKids Baseball Academy and Lifeletics Baseball Academy in Southern California and the MVP Baseball Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Adding to this impressive resume is his work for MLB´s RBI program, which is working on „Reviving Baseball in Inner cities“.

During his time coaching, Berglund has worked with and been influenced by quite a few renowned and experienced coaches and players. Among those are Former Texas Rangers Hitting Coach Rudy Jaramillo, and former Major Leaguers Mark McGwire, Wally Joyner, Bruce Hurst, Lee Smith, Art Howe, John McClaren and Bret Barberie. He also studies the modern science of pitching with leaders Tom House and Ron Wolforth.

His voice will sound familiar to a lot of participants as Berglund was also one of the broadcasters for Stadeo TV during the 37th Baseball World Cup in Taiwan.

Mike Schofield

Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB Europe

Mike Schofield grew up in Parker, Colorado and played several sports in high school including baseball, football (American), basketball, and track and field, but baseball has always been his passion.

He studied at Colorado State University where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Business Administration in May of 2009.

He completed his internship at Athletes Performance in Los Angeles, CA, where he worked with NFL and MLB athletes.

Following his internship Mike spent a month with the Diamondbacks before he graduated from CSU.

Following graduation he attended the Denver School of Massage Therapy through the fall and finished the program in December of 2009.

He has bmike schofieldeen in professional baseball for two years now. He began with the Diamondbacks for the 2010 season serving as the S/C coach for Rookie affiliate Missoula Osprey in Montana. This past season he worked with the D'Backs single A team the South Bend Silver Hawks in Indiana.

Mike am a Certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), licensed manual therapist (LMT), and corrective exercise specialist (CES).

He will spend his fist Winter in Europe, working as a Strength and Conditioning coach for the MLB European academies, mainly in Germany.

Prague Convention - A big hit

By Chris Dassy posted November 25, 2011

November 11 to 13, Czech Republic was hosting the 8th EBCA Convention, at the Grand Majestic Plaza from downtown Prague.

Coaches from all over Europe made the trip to the Convention complemeting an important core of Czech coaches.

International Sports Group president, the clinic leader Jim Jones, came from the USA with Derek Johnson who helped to establish a top program at Vanderbilt University and Dave Hajek, hitting coach in the Colorado Rockies organization.

EBCA completed the line up with Marco Mazzieri, manager of Team Italy, Andy Berglund, EBCA coach of the Year nominee and manager from the Czech National teams. Thanks to the support of MLB, the young and dynamic Mike Schofield, a strength and conditioning coach from the D'Backs completed a high quality group of speakers.

The Grand majestic, perfectly located equipped with a first class conference facility, saw arguably the best Convention is EBCA history. The divesrsity of the topics and the expertise of the speakers in both baseball and presenting gave every coach in attendance something to feed from for the season to come. Mission completed.

But the EBCA is not just a place to learn. It's a place to meet. It's also a place to reward the ones who accomplished great things.

And this year, even more so than usual.


MINE - Italian Wood Bat company, the new EBCA Prime Partner made the trip to Prague. And they, as well as Rawlings and louisville Slugger who were also represented there, had the chance to meet many national team, academy and local coaches.

So coaches had the chance to find equipment and create partnerships too.

On the reward side, the EBCA handed out its usual awards.

The EBCA Career Achievement Award went to Sam Dempster, the current coach of Great Britain's national team who served many years as an Envoy coach for MLB.

The most anticipated Award went to a man who led his team to a feat that may impact all European baseball. Brian Farley who won the Baseball World Cup with the Netherlands was voted by the EBCA members as the Coach of the Year 2011.

Congratulations to the other nominees, Doriano Bindi (Italy), Ulli Wermuth (Germany), Ivan Rodriguez (Netherlands) and Andy Berglund (Czech Republic) for being part of such a high quality group.

On Saturday night, right after the Coach of the Year Ceremony, a large group of speaker was headed to a nearby restaurant. All the coaches, not matter their origin or their background were welcomed to join the speakers and the EBCA staff.

That adjustment compared to other years was very well received and gave some more time to exchange ideas and create new friendships.

Three of the 2011 EBCA exchange coaches were also talking about their experience in the US. The exchange program has really exceeded expectations and added an incredible value to the EBCA membership.

As promised, the presentations from all the speakers are already available online for the members.

Other instructional articles will be added regularly during the course of the year, creating a new tool to help the EBCA coaches from all over Europe.

The CBA (Czech Federation) proved to be a solid partner in the organization of the Convention and the Czech coaches, who showed up in number sure contributed to the succes of the event.

Now, all heads are turned towards the 2012 EBCA Coach Exchange Program. New spots have been added both in the US and, answering a request from our members, in Europe providing unique opportunities for coaches to get on top of their game.