Our Instructors

Mark Haley

Mark Haley

Director of Training & Instruction

Mark Haley is the former manager of the South Bend Silver Hawks, having led the team from 2005-2014. During that time, he was named manager of the year in the Midwest League in 2005, 2008 & 2013. He was Player Development Man of the Year for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005 and was the first recipient of the Joe Garagiola Jr. Award for excellence in player development for the Diamondbacks in 2008. While at the helm, his teams were able to work themselves into the play offs 8 of the 10 years and won one Midwest League Championship and three Eastern Division championships. Early on, Haley was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 26th round of the 1977 amateur draft but instead chose to attend the University of Nebraska to play ball while earning his degree in education. He started coaching at UNL as an assistant from 1982-86. He also coached in the summer for the Alaska League and the Jayhawk League. He then became a recruiting coordinator and interim head coach while at the University of Tennessee (1987-91). He spent over a decade in the Chicago White Sox organization as a coach. He was with the South Bend White Sox (1991-1992), Sarasota White Sox (1993), Hickory Crawdads (1994), Venezuela League (1994) South Bend Silver Hawks (1995), Prince William Cannons (1996), and Winston-Salem Warthogs (1997), where he managed for 49 games. Returning to coaching, he was at Winston-Salem (1999, 2001-2002), with the Birmingham Barron’s (2003) and the Great Falls White Sox (2004) before joining the South Bend Silver Hawks. Throughout his coaching career, Haley has worked with over a hundred and twenty major league players.

Doug Buysse

Doug Buysse

Hitting & Catching Instructor

In addition to coaching catchers and hitters at the collegiate level, Doug Buysse has traveled throughout the Midwest as a baseball camp instructor, making appearances at Silver Spikes, Top 96, and College Coaches Skills Camps. He played for four years at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he holds a career .351 batting average and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage as a back-up catcher. Buysse is currently the head baseball coach at Indiana University South Bend.

Eric Danapilis

Baseball Hitting and Infield Instructor

Eric Danapilis comes to the Performance Center as a 2 time All American at the University of Notre Dame. Danapilis is a graduate of St. Joseph HS in Michigan where he was a 4 Time All-State Selection and a member of the Michigan Dream Team and a member of USA JR Olympic Team. He went on to play collegiately and graduate from the University of Notre Dame where he was a 4 Year Letter Winner, Freshman All-American, and was named Conference Player of the Year twice. While at Notre Dame, Danapilis set several season and career records and was selected as a member of 1990 Pan-American team. Eric was selected in the 27th round of 1993 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. While in the minors, Eric led his league in homeruns and batting average while also becoming an All Star. Since retiring from playing professional baseball, Eric has coached at the high school, college, and travel ball levels.

Carlos Ferrá

Carlos Ferrá

Hitting & Infield Instructor

Carlos Ferrá has coached baseball for over 18 years, and is a physical education and Spanish teacher in the South Bend schools. In his native country of Cuba, Ferrá coached youth, high school and collegiate level baseball. He studied in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba at Nancy Uranga University and majored in baseball with a master’s degree in physical culture and sports. Several of his students play at the professional level in the United States and Mexico. Ferrá specializes in teaching professionally minded students between the ages of 11 to 18 and is adept at training any position.

Matt Cates

Strength & Conditioning Instructor

 

Matt Cates joins the Performance Center with a wealth of experience in strength training. He is a 2001 graduate of Portage High School and a 3 year letter winning football player at Manchester University where he graduated with as a certified health and physical education teacher. Cates is a Certified Specialist in Sports Conditioning and has 13 years of experience as a Head Strength Coach. He has made stops at Portage High School, Michigan City High School, Martinsville High School, and is currently the Head Strength Coach at Penn High school while coaching hundreds of collegiate athletes at all levels and sports along the way. Cates is an original member of the National High School Strength and Conditioning Association; along with being a member of both the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the International Sports Sciences Association. He has been a speaker at the Indiana High School State Athletic Leadership Conference, the Chicago Glazier National Athletic Performance Clinic, and the Mid State Athletic Conference Leadership Summit.

John Coddington

Softball/Baseball Throwing Mechanics Specialist

John Coddington has more than 40 years of experience in teaching throwing mechanics, injury care and prevention, and pre and post- surgical rehabilitation. He is a NATA board-certified athletic trainer, an Indiana-licensed athletic trainer and has attended numerous clinics and seminars relating to throwing mechanics and injuries to the throwing athlete. John was voted Athletic Trainer of the Year in the Clinical and Professional Division by the Indiana Athletic Trainer’s Association in 1989 and was also inducted into the Indiana Athletic Trainer’s Association Hall of Fame in 2001. He was inducted into the Ball State Sports Medicine Society Ring of Honor in 2008. Coddington is a 1976 graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in physiology and health science with a specialization in athletic training and sports medicine.

 

Maria Gillis

Softball Coordinator

Maria comes to the Performance Center with great experience at the top levels for softball. Born and raised in South Bend, Maria won the Little League Softball World Series when she was 13 and appeared in the World Series 2 more times. She was a four-year letter winner at John Adams High School, being named second team all-state as a junior and senior. She led her team to a 2007 sectional championship and regional runner-up. She ended her career at John Adams holding the single-season and career records for home runs, RBI, hits and batting average. After her season year, she was named to the ICGSA North All-Star team. Maria played softball at Indiana University-Bloomington as a freshman, where she appeared in 19 games with 12 starts. She received a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies in 2013.

Anna Irons

Softball Instructor

Serving as the starting pitcher at Saint Joseph high school for three years, and a two-year captain, Anna Irons lead the Indians to Semi-State four seasons in a row. Anna holds two school records in the most wins and most strikeouts, and was a two-time, first team all-NIC selection and two-time, all-state honorable mention. While in high school, she served as a student coach for Holy Family grade school, and at Chet Waggoner Little League working primarily with pitchers. Currently, Anna attends Saint Mary’s College and serves as the head JV softball coach at St. Joseph high school in South Bend.

Walter Lehmann

Walter Lehmann

Pitching & Hitting Instructor

A graduate of Marian High School and Bethel College in Mishawaka, Walter Lehmann is an exceptional trainer, specializing in catching, pitching, and infielding. Currently, the head baseball coach at Concord High School, Lehmann is also an assistant coach for the South Bend Junior Silver Hawks. Every summer, he serves as a camp instructor for multiple University of Notre Dame and Bethel College summer camps.

Chadd Blasko

Pitching Instructor

Chadd Blasko was born and raised in Mishawaka where he graduated from Mishawaka High School in 1999. While at Mishawaka, he was named First-Team All-State in 1999 and was a member of the North vs South Indiana HS All-Star Games as a Junior and Senior. He was drafted out of high school in the 47th Round in 1999 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. However, Chadd decided to attend Purdue University and pitched for the baseball team for 3 seasons. As a junior in 2002, he was named First-Team All-Big Ten Pitcher and finished with a 3.47 Career ERA, the fifth-lowest in Purdue history. Blasko compiled a 2.34 ERA against some of the nation’s elite players in the 2001 Summer Cape Cod League while playing for the Cotuit Kettleers; named as one of the league’s top ten pro prospects by Baseball America. He was drafted as the 36th overall pick by the Chicago Cubs in the Supplemental First Round of the MLB Draft. While pitching in the Cubs organization for 5 seasons, he was named the Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2003 with a 1.98 ERA with 131 K’s in just 136 innings pitched and was also listed as the #5 Prospect in Cubs Organization in 2003 and 2004. Chadd also spent 1 year in the Baltimore Orioles organization in 2008. In 2009, he returned to Purdue to finish his degree and he acted as the Purdue Volunteer Assistant Coach for 2 seasons. Currently, Chad is a physical education and health teacher at Mishawaka High School.

Holly Hoffman

 Hitting & Catching Instructor

Holly Hoffman comes to the Performance Center with great experience as a player and instructor. Holly graduated from Penn High School as a 3-time Indiana all-state, all-conference and all-district selection and holds the Penn High School records for home runs, doubles and RBIs. During the summer, she played ASA ball for the Indiana Magic Gold 16U-18U teams. After high school, she went on to play at Iowa University, where she studied health and human physiology. In her career, Hoffman started 192 games, including 181 behind the plate. She caught runners stealing 41 times and was responsible for calling the pitches behind the dish, including a no hitter in 2015. As a senior, Hoffman was one of 14 players from the Big Ten Conference to receive All-Midwest Region recognition. The award honors softball student-athletes from the NFCA’s 10 regions with first, second, and third team selections. NFCA member coaches from each respective region voted on the teams, and all honorees are now eligible for selection to the 2016 NFCA Division I All-American squads.

 

Dustin Coffman

Hitting & Catching Instructor

Dustin Coffman started his coaching career in 2009 at Indiana University under Head Coach Tracy Smith where he helped recruit current major leaguer Kyle Schwarber. After spending one year in Bloomington coaching the Hoosiers, he spent the next three years coaching at junior college powerhouse Wabash Valley College. During his three-year tenure, the Warriors averaged 45 wins a year and had 12 players move onto professional baseball. He spent two summers coaching in the prestigious Cape Cod League where in 2011 he mentored Cape Cod MVP and current San Diego Padre Travis Jankowski. Coffman spent the last four years coaching at the University of Cincinnati where he coached former South Bend Cub and current Chicago Cub Ian Happ. In eight years of college baseball, Coach Coffman mentored over 60 draft picks including 14 Major Leaguers. Learn more about Dustin by following him on Twitter and Facebook.

Lessons

To speak with a trainer or for more information on custom training packages for individual or group lessons, call 574-404-3636.

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