BaseballSoftballUK has gathered a collection of some of the best and brightest minds in baseball and softball coaching from around the world to impart their knowledge at Coach Summit 2023. Keep checking this page for further Speaker and Coach announcements as the Summit approaches!
Lineup subject to change
Chase Utley - 16 Year MLB Veteran and MLB Europe Ambassador
A 16-year Major League Baseball veteran with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chase Utley is one of the most well-known baseball players of the last 20 years. Utley debuted in MLB in 2003 and would go on to make six appearances at the All-Star Game. Known for his leadership on the field along with his aggressive play style, Utley’s best season was 2007, where he hit .332, mashed 22 home runs and drove in 103 runs in 132 games for the Phillies. A key member of the 2008 World Series Championship Phillies team, Utley hit crucial home runs in Games 1 and 3 to help the Phils claim their second title.
Utley retired in 2018, completing his playing career with a .275 average, 259 home runs, and played in 1937 regular-season games. Following his retirement, Utley has stayed involved with the sport, calling games for the Dodgers and on MLB on TBS Tuesday Night. He also served as Special Assistant to the President of Baseball Operations for the Dodgers starting in 2019.
In summer 2022 he announced he was moving to London to work as an ambassador for MLB Europe ahead of the 2023 London Series, with the goal of growing the game in Europe. In this role, Utley was on-hand to announce ticket sales for the 2023 London Series and will continue to promote the game across Europe over the coming years.
Utley attended UCLA as an undergraduate – the same university as GB Softball Head Coach Tara Henry - and played in the Cape Cod League in the 1990s, just a few years after GB Baseball Head Coach Drew Spencer suited up for the Orleans Cardinals in the same league.
Dr. Alice Hunter - Lecturer in Sports Coaching at Bournemouth University
Alice is a Lecturer in Sports Coaching at Bournemouth University and joined this institution in September 2021 after working at Hartpury University, and is the current Programme Leader for the BSc Sport Coaching. Her main interests include developing coaching practice for improved decision making in team sports, talent identification in the development of minority sports (amateur and small participation rates) and athletes' experiences at major tournaments and competitions. Her recent research has examined the use of extended questioning to improve decision making in team sports, and this work has been presented at the Cluster for Research into Coaching (CRiC) conference.
Alice has worked with a variety of sports teams, coaching from grassroots to international level in Korfball and is formerly an international Korfball player for Wales. She was the Youth Development Officer for the Welsh Korfball Association and in this role developed the provision of youth korfball coaching in the South Wales area and developed the U19 Wales Korfball Team. She was then appointed the U19 Wales Korfball Coach and she took a squad to the Beach Korfball World Cup in the Summer of 2018.
Amy Moore - Catcher, Great Britain Softball & British Softball Hall of Famer
Amy Moore has played for the GB Women’s Team player since 2012 through last year’s European Championships in Barcelona, coming out of retirement to help the team. She was a key member of the 2019 team that played in the Olympic Qualifier, and has played for the GB Women in four World Championships and five European Championships.
A fearless and effective catcher and an elite hitter against top-class pitching, Amy has been an astute student of the game, always looking for ways to give her team an edge. She lives in California.
Drew Spencer - Head Coach and Lead Programme Manager, Great Britain Baseball
Andrew “Drew” Spencer grew up in Glendale, California and played collegiate baseball at Dartmouth College. He was a 4-time All-Ivy League selection and, at the time of his graduation, was the career record holder in 11 offensive categories. Drew also played for the Orleans Firebirds in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1994 and 1995. Drew’s coaching career began in earnest in 2008 in London at LondonSports, the UK’s largest youth baseball club. Over six seasons at LondonSports, Drew coached at all levels and helped to establish the club’s first Travel Team programme. He also ran the club’s Minors League for 4 years, organising rosters, schedules and all aspects of administration for an 8-team league with over 120 players.
Prior to the 2016 season, Drew joined the London Mets Baseball & Softball Club and began working in earnest with adult programmes, while also earning himself a place on the shortlist for British Youth Baseball Coach of the Year in 2017. At the youth level, teams managed by Spencer have won 5 British National Championships.
Spencer took over as Manager of the GB Senior National Team in September 2020, following the resignation of longtime manager Liam Carroll. Previously, Spencer managed the GB U-23 Team, leading them to their best-ever finish in European competition in 2019. In 2021, Spencer managed the GB Men's Senior National Team to a sixth-place finish in the 2021 European Baseball Championships in Turin, their best finish in 14 years. This year, Spencer led the GB Men’s Team to their first-ever World Baseball Classic berth, going undefeated at the Qualifier tournament in Regensburg, Germany, this September.
Tara Henry - Head Coach, GB Women's Softball; Founder, Run the Bases & D1Softball.com
Tara Henry’s passion for sports and mission-driven work has taken her all over the world. Following the completion of her Masters in Sport for International Development and Peace from the University of Brighton, she founded a non-profit called Run the Bases. Based in Gambia, Run the Bases uses the sport of softball to address and overcome gender inequalities by focusing on employment and education in local communities.
Tara’s work and devotion to the game of softball has connected her with various national federations across the globe to focus on developing the sport in places including Europe, Africa and South America. As an NCAA Softball National Champion with the UCLA Bruins, Tara has carried her love for college softball into D1Softball.com, an online media source covering softball, as a managing editor.
Tara was named Head Coach of the GB Women's Senior National Fastpitch Team on 5 December 2022, and you can read the announcement here.
A California native and current San Pedro resident, she is an avid sailor and enjoys competing in races along the coast of her home state.
Liam Carroll is a baseball coach and consultant and is a fixture with the Great Britain National Baseball Team, where he spent six years as Senior Manager and more than 27 years overall with the programme. He served in numerous roles as a player, coach and administrator, and in 2016 led Great Britain to the final of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier, including a famous win over Brazil, then ranked 14th in the world.
Liam Carroll - MiLB Manager, Boston Red Sox + GB Baseball Volunteer
Carroll’s GB playing career culminated at the 2003 European Championship. Prior to that he was selected to the U15s in 1996 and 1997 and to the U18s from 1997-2000, becoming the team’s starting shortstop in his final year of eligibility. Domestically, Carroll played for the Crewkerne Cutters, Bracknell Blazers and Brighton Buccaneers, and coached for the London Mets.
Carroll left the UK in 2000 to become a student-athlete in the US college system, attending Delta College (Stockton, California) and Porterville College (California).
After his playing career, Carroll moved on to the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he would receive a degree in Physical Education and serve as Director of Baseball Operations. During five seasons under Head Coach Buddy Gouldsmith, Carroll was involved in the development of more than 20 players who would go on to sign with MLB organisations. In his first season in Las Vegas, the Rebels captured the Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament crowns and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Between 2005 and 2020 Carroll worked with BaseballSoftballUK in various capacities, focusing on regional club and coach development, Academy Baseball and the High Performance Academy (HPA). He also served as Lead Hitting and Infield Coach for Smarter Performance Baseball, initially by supporting Will Lintern and Alan Dean's delivery of an Online Academy for British players throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
In January, Carroll was named as one of the Boston Red Sox’s Minor League Baseball managers for the 2023 season.
Kellie Whitaker - Team Operations Manager, GB Slowpitch Softball (Men's Senior Team and Co-Ed)
Kellie Whitaker joined the GB Softball programme in 2016 as GB Slowpitch Team Operations Manager, and saw immediate success, with a silver medal at the 2016 Slowpitch World Cup in Florida and silver at the 2017 European Championships in Bulgaria. In 2018 Men's Slowpitch was incorporated into the GB Slowpitch Programme, and gold medals followed, for the Men in 2018 and 2022, and for the Co-Ed side in 2019 and 2022.
Whitaker’s responsibilities as Team Operations Manager include supporting training and coaching, as well as analysing and managing game situations at both domestic and international competition.
Whitaker started playing softball in her native Australia at the age of five, and joined the Manchester Softball League in 2005, where she has played as part of the Manchester Thunder ever since. Whitaker moved to the UK in 2000 and works for Kellogg as Director of Global Travel and Expense, giving her the opportunity to travel all over the world.
Lauren Forrow - Operations Manager, Great Britain Cycling Team
Lauren Forrow is the Operations Manager at the Great Britain Cycling Team. In this role, she leads on the operation of 7 cycling programmes, delivering over 200 events per year. In 2022 alone, her team supported the delivery of 67 World and European medals.
Forrow was previously World Class Programme Manager of British Bobsleigh, where she worked with BaseballSoftballUK Head of Performance Gary Anderson. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, British Bobsleigh won Bronze following a successful talent recruitment campaign. Forrow started her career in sport as an Applied Physiologist after beginning her journey as a national level athlete in Netball.
Forrow also serves as Vice-President of Netball France, and previously was a consultant for England Netball and the London Pulse Netball Superleague team. With Pulse, Forrow was Performance and Logistics Manager, laying the groundwork for the 2022 season, their most successful yet.
Forrow graduated from the University of Brighton with a Bachelors in Sports Science, Sports and Exercise, and a MSc in Applied Physiology. She is also a UK Anti-Doping Accredited Educator and worked with the Organising Committee on the delivery of the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Emmanuel Owolabi - Strength & Conditioning Coach, GB Women's Softball
Emmanuel Owolabi is a graduate of St. Mary’s University, where he completed both a BSc(Hons) in Sport Rehabilitation and a postgraduate certificate in Applied Strength and Conditioning Science. Owolabi has worked across a variety of sports, including track and field, bobsleigh, and football, including work with British Bobsleigh & Skeleton on various projects from 2019-2021.
During the 2022 European Women’s Championship preparation camp, Owolabi was key in tracking and analysing athlete performance for the GB Women’s Senior Team, providing the coaching and performance staff with vital information for their silver medal winning performance. In January 2023, Owolabi was named GB Softball’s Strength and Conditioning coach.
Owolabi, in addition to his work with GB Softball, also works with a variety of high-performance athletes in Track and Field, most notably as an assistant coach and sport science lead with Wired for Sport, a group that boasts multiple world-class sprinters.