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Andre Lachance

Andre Lachance Headshot

André Lachance is an internationally acclaimed baseball coach, keynote speaker and university professor. Over the years, Lachance has given over 300 keynote speeches in 20 countries on various topics related to athlete development, leadership, team coaching and group efficacy. Lachance built the first Women's National Baseball programme in Canada and has led the team as their head coach for 15 years, bringing them to the #2 spot in the WBSC ranking. In 2019, Lachance became the first head coach of the French Women’s National Team, guiding them to a European Championship Title and a World Cup qualification.
Lachance also teaches advanced coaching courses at the University of Ottawa. In 2007, Lachance was granted the University of Ottawa Teacher of the Year award for his outstanding teaching skills. Lachance is also the recipient of the nationally respected Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal given by the Canadian Government for contributing significantly to Canadian sport system. He is famous for his novel concepts and is known to live by an "out of the box" approach. Lachance is a dynamic speaker who travels the globe sharing his knowledge to countless business corporations and sports organisations such as the NHL, UNESCO, MLB, Novartis and several Olympic Committees around the world. Lachance is based in Gatineau, Québec, Canada.


Craig Montvidas

Craig Montvidas is the Head Coach of the 2018 European Fastpitch Softball champions Specchiasol Bussolengo in the Italian Softball League. The former Head Coach of the Netherlands Women Softball Team previously coached with Bussolengo in 1989.

Montvidas first played baseball in the Dutch big league in 1975-1984 for Giants Diemen (1975, 1977-1979), Kinheim (1976) and HCAW (1980-1984). American-born and raised, Montvidas started coaching in 1980 when he became the playing Head Coach of the baseball-team of HCAW, who he also led in 1983-1985. He made his debut as softball-coach in 1981, when he also was the Head Coach of the women-team of HCAW. Montvidas led the softball-squad of the Bussum-club in 1981-1988. Hereafter, he coached one season for Bussolengo in Italy, then returned to the Netherlands, where he led the softball-team of Twins (1990-1994). He leads HCAW to the Championship-title in 1985, 1987 and 1988, then wins again with Twins in 1994. With both teams, Montvidas also won an European Cup.

In 1997-1999, Montvidas first led the Netherlands National Softball Team as its Head Coach. He then was the Head Coach of the Greek National Softball Team (2000-2001) and the British National Team (2003-2007). In Greece, he helps creating a softball-program to prepare for the 2004 Olympic Games in Greek capital Athens. He then became involved again with the Netherlands National Team in November 2008 when he was named as its new Head Coach. A year later, Montvidas became the coordinator of the entire Netherlands National Team Program, which also included the National Youth-teams. With all these teams, Montvidas participated in several big international events, including several European Championships and World Championships.

In his second stint as Head Coach of the Netherlands, Montvidas was very successful, as he led the Orange-squad to three consecutive unbeaten European titles (2009, 2011, 2013). The first title in 2009 is the first for the Dutch in 19 years. In the same period, the Netherlands climbed on the ladder during three World Championships In 2010, he leads the team to its first Play-Offs in 16 years and finishes in eighth place. Hereafter, the Netherlands ends up in sixth place in 2012 and 2014. Montvidas resigned as the team's Head Coach after conclusion of the 2014 World Championship in Haarlem (Netherlands), as he became the Head Coach of the professional Pennsylvania Rebellion a year later.

Besides his coaching-activities in the eighties, Montvidas also organized the successful baseball- and softball-camps of Pro-Motion, was the co-founder of an indoor softball-competition in 1990 in Amsterdam (which ran for a few years) and conducted several instructional meetings during clinics in both the Netherlands and abroad. He still conducts clinics frequently.

In 2017, Montvidas was the Camp Director of two ESCA Camps in Diessen (Netherlands). In total, nearly 100 softball enthusiasts, players and coaches, participated in the two camps.

Jim Jones

Jim Jones profile photoCoach Summit workshop (TBC) and High Performance Academy session on the Sunday.
Former Head Coach of the University of Wyoming and St. Mary's College (California) baseball teams.
Past-President of the International Sports Group, Inc.
Former MLBI Co-ordinator of Game Development in Europe and coach/instructor to European baseball federations.

Jim Jones has over 50 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). In 1991, Jones began his international experience by becoming coach-in-residence in Czechoslovakia as part of a Major League Baseball International (MLBI) program. Following that assignment, he served as MLBI’s Co-coordinator of Game Development in Europe.

Jones subsequently worked with baseball federations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Spain, Holland, Croatia and Portugal as an instructor, manager and assistant coach at all levels of youth and adult baseball. At the 2006 European Baseball Coaches Association's winter convention, Jones received EBCA's Achievement Award in recognition of his work in European baseball. He also has received MLB’s Julio Puente Award for his outstanding work as an MLB Envoy Coach.

In 1998 Jones joined the International Sports Group (ISG) to take over the administration of the winter baseball and softball clinics in Europe. Jones served as ISG’s president until he chose to step back on his administrative duties. He remains an active ISG board member.


Previous speakers - Coach Summit 2019

Ali Higgs

Coach Summit keynote speaker - softball
Former Head Coach of the Jacksonville University softball team (Florida)
Played in the National Pro Fastpitch League (USA)
Inducted into the Division 1 Iona College (New York) Hall of Fame

Ali Higgs was a four-year starter and record holder at Division I Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, where she established pitching records for appearances, wins, ERA, strikeouts and shutouts. She also holds Iona records for at-bats and hits and ranks second all-time in home runs.  Ali was the first softball player in school history to be inducted into the Iona College Hall of Fame.

Following her college career, Ali played in the National Pro Fastpitch League for the New York Juggernaut and Philadelphia Force, and also played and ran clinics in Australia.

Her coaching career was centered around Jacksonville University, where she was an Assistant Coach for five years and obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration before becoming an unusually young Head Coach at the Division 1 school while still in her 20s.

Ali now owns and runs a coaching business called Backwards K Jax, which offers college exposure camps, recruiting consultation, performance training, strength and conditioning workouts, coaching clinics, team camps and mental conditioning and sports psychology training.

Ed Blankmeyer

Coach Summit keynote speaker - baseball
Head Coach of the St John's University baseball team (New York)
Former USA Collegiate National Team Manager
Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1976

The winningest coach in St. John’s baseball history, Ed Blankmeyer enters his 24th season at the helm of the Red Storm baseball program in 2019 with an all-time record of 798-477-4, good enough for a .625 winning percentage. Blankmeyer has guided the Red Storm to five Big East Tournament crowns, six Big East regular season titles and 11 NCAA Tournament berths, including one NCAA Super Regional appearance.

 Also the winningest coach in the history of Big East play with 338 conference victories, Blankmeyer has earned Big East Coach of the Year honours a conference-record eight times and has been named the ABCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year four times.

In addition to his coaching accolades at St. John’s, Blankmeyer has also been an active member of the USA Baseball community, including a stint as the Collegiate National Team’s manager in the summer of 2015.

 An excellent recruiter, Blankmeyer has coached more than 100 players that have gone on to play professional baseball, including Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, Mo Vaughn (1995 American League MVP) and 2014 World Series Champion Joe Panik. 

Blankmeyer played four seasons at Seton Hall University (New Jersey), hitting .320, with 152 hits and 66 stolen bases. He was the starting second baseman for both the 1974 and 1975 Seton Hall squads that played in the College World Series, and was named Atlantic Collegiate League Most Valuable Player in 1975. Following his graduation in 1976, he was a 21st-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles and spent one season in the Orioles farm system before beginning his coaching career. 

Blankmeyer and his wife, Susan, reside in Convent Station, N.J. They have two daughters, Brittany Leigh and Alison Joy, and one son, Taylor Edward.

Bill Holmberg

Bill Holmberg profile photoCoach Summit speaker - the MLB Throwing Programme
MLB International Pitching Coordinator for Europe and Africa
Former pitching coach for the Italian national team programme
Former scout for the Chicago Cubs

Bill Holmberg, MLB’s International Pitching Coordinator for Europe and Africa and a former pitching coach for national team programmes in Italy and Taiwan, will present a keynote session on the MLB Throwing Programme as it relates to pitching mechanics and injury prevention.

Bill has been active for almost 40 years, in the United States but mainly internationally, as a team manager and pitching instructor and has been MLB’s Pitching Coordinator for Europe and Africa since 2004.

He was an area scout for the Chicago Cubs in Europe and Africa for almost 10 years and has worked at all levels of the Italian national team programme as a pitching coach at European Championships, World Cups, Premier 12 tournaments and World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.

Bill is regarded as one of the outstanding pitching clinicians in Europe and is a regular instructor at MLB Academies and clinics where the MLB Throwing Programme is implemented.

Previous speakers - Coach Summit 2018

Nino Giarratano

Head Coach of the University of San Francisco Dons baseball team





Mark Smith

Softball Canada High-Performance Director
Canadian Women National Team Coach
Member of both the Softball Canada and International Softball Congress Halls of Fame





Previous speakers - Coach Summit 2017

Cindy Bristow

Cindy Bristow Softball ESPN ISF USAFounder of Softball Excellence
International Softball Federation Director of Development
USA Softball Director of National Teams
Colour Analyst for ESPN




Pat Doyle

Pat Doyle Baseball Coach Sumiit 2017 MLB San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs

Former Major League Baseball Consultant & Co-ordinator of the MLB Envoy Coach Programme
Director & Development Consultant at Play-Global!
International coach including Great Britain and Team USA
Former Head Coach, San Joaquin Delta College



Steve Shortland

Steve Shortland Team USA Slowpitch Softball Head Coach BSUK Coach Summit 2017

Team USA Slowpitch Head Coach (2009 - present)
All-Air Force Men's Team Head Coach
10-time All-Armed Forces Men’s Team Head Coach




Dave Turgeon

Dave Turgeon

Instruction Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Former Assistant Field Coordinator/Assistant Pitching Coach with the Pirates
Former Minor League Manager with the Pirates and Cleveland Indians
Eight years Division 1 College coaching experience
Drafted by the New York Yankees in 1987





Jessica Moore

Jessicsa Moore University of South Florida Softball

Assistant Coach – University of South Florida Bulls
Team USA Pitcher
2 x World Cup of Softball Winner
NCAA Women’s College World Series Finalist



Previous keynote speaker - Coach Summit 2016

Brian Cain

 brian=Brian Cain has dedicated his life to studying, modelling, and teaching the peak performance strategies of the most successful people in the world. Having served as the Mental Conditioning Coach for World, Olympic, National and State Champions, Cain has discovered what works and what doesn’t in the competitive arena so that you can speed up your learning curve and maximise your performance.

A former high school standout in baseball, football and basketball, Cain was an NCAA Division 1 baseball player at The University of Vermont before going on to earn a Masters Degree in Applied Sport Psychology and also coaching baseball at Cal State Fullerton, the 2004 NCAA College Baseball National Champions.

As a coach of champions, Cain’s client list is impressive. Over 400 of his clients have gone on to get drafted into Major League Baseball, including over 25 in the first round. He has helped train top picks in the NFL, NHL and NBA drafts. In addition, he has worked closely in the corner of five Ultimate Fighting Championship World Champions, including UFC Superstar Georges St. Pierre, numerous Major League Baseball All-Stars, The Washington Nationals Organisation and Team USA Baseball.

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