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Coach Summit 2021 Speakers

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.

Lachance spoke in person at the Coach Summit 2020 and will return to this year's summit after hosting the successful TIMEOUT 2020 summit in December 2020.

Drew Spencer

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.


Rachael Watkeys

Rachael Watkeys was a player for the GB Women’s Team from 2009 through 2011, and was appointed Head Coach of the GB Under-19 Women in the summer of 2013. She was then elevated to the Great Britain Women's Fastpitch National Team head coach position in October 2015. 

Under her leadership, the GB Women's National Softball Team achieved their highest ever European (3rd) and International (13th) ranking in programme history. In addition, the GB Women barely missed on qualifying for the 2020 (now 2021) Olympic games in their very first European qualifier for the games.

As a result of her success in 2019, Rachael was awarded the co-Softball Adult Coach of the Year award at the British Baseball and Softball Coaching Awards at last year's Coach Summit 2020.


Liam Carroll

Liam Carroll is a baseball coach and consultant, currently working on hitting instruction with Smarter Performance Baseball. Prior to this year, Carroll was a fixture with the Great Britain National Baseball Programme, spending six years as Senior Manager and 25 years with the programme overall. 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.

A Middle Infielder, 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.

Following in the footsteps of GB stalwarts Nick Carter, Alex Malihoudis and Gavin Marshall, 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). In 2003 the Porterville Pirates set a then-school record for wins and advanced to the state tournament.

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 2014 Carroll worked with BaseballSoftballUK in various capacities, focusing on regional club and coach development, Academy Baseball and the High Performance Academy (HPA). 


Will Lintern

Will Lintern is GB Baseball's Pitching and Catching Coordinator as well as the Director of Pitching and Catching at Smarter Performance Baseball. Prior to his current role, Lintern was Head Coach of the GB U-18 team for nine years, and has spend spans parts of three decades involved in the programme, playing at the U15, U18 and Senior levels, including at the 2009 Baseball World Cup.

Lintern previously worked for BaseballSoftballUK as both Midlands Development Manager and then National Development Manager, and has previously presented at BSUK's Coach Summits, including a well-received talk in 2020!

Lintern attended Menlo College in Atherton, California where he played four years as a catcher and was named a team captain for his Senior season. Lintern has a long playing history in the UK, first coming up through the youth system in Tonbridge. He then moved to play in the then-named Rawlings National League for the Brighton Buccaneers, where he won the first two of the seven NBL National Championships to his name. The other National Championships came in 2008 with the London Mets then in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with the Southern Nationals and again in 2018 with the Mets. Lintern has also played for the Gauteng Indians in Germany’s Bundesliga.


Georgia Bevan

Georgia Bevan is an Australian Rules Footballer and former softballer with a passion for sports nutrition. Growing up in South Australia, Bevan spent 10 years representing her home state in softball before making the transition to the AFL, where she was part of the inaugural AFLW-champion Adelaide Football Club in 2017. She currently plays for Sturt of the South Australian Women's Football League.

Bevan is also the founder and head dietitian at EclipseFuel, a sports nutrition brand dedicated to "empower [the] community with the skills and knowledge to simplify healthy eating for successful performance, no matter their focus in your life."

Prior to founding EclipseFuel, Bevan completed a four year Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Flinders University, and has been practicing as a Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian for more than five years.


Jonas Worth

Bio coming soon.


Tina Whitlock

Bio coming soon.







Alyson Spinas-Valainis

An American professional athlete, Alyson Spinas-Valainis grew up surrounded by sport. An Iowa 1st Team All-State as both a fastpitch pitcher and basketball center, they took a Division I full-ride scholarship to Bradley University in Illinois to play basketball. After a successful 4 years on the hardwood, Alyson joined the Bradley University softball team for a final, 5th year. There they earned Missouri Valley Conference honours (Pitcher of the Week, Feb 2015), 2015 Bradley University Softball MVP Team award, and pitching 200 innings during the season.

Shortly thereafter, Alyson took their playing career overseas to numerous countries: New Zealand; the Czech Republic; Australia; Germany; and currently The Netherlands, earning a National Championship for Olympia Haarlem (2018) and runner up (2019) in the Dutch Golden League. Currently, Alyson is going into their third season with Olympia Haarlem, and will be continuing to play for the team in Haarlem while living abroad in the UK. Additionally, both Joudrs Praha and Olympia Haarlem have medaled in The European Premier Cup in Italy (Joudrs 2016, 2017; Olympia 2019); earning 2nd, 3rd, and finally 3rd respectively.

As a coach, Alyson has worked heavily on development in New Zealand, Australia, and Czech Republic. They take tremendous pride in what they know as both a player and as a coach, working with development of the youth and ensuring that the players of tomorrow understand the importance of professionalism, work ethic, and passion.


Dr. Josie Perry

Dr Josephine (Josie) Perry is a chartered psychologist working with those in sport and on the stage to help them overcome their barriers to success so their can achieve their goals.

Josephine has a background in communications and behaviour change having worked for many years in journalism, marketing, public relations and crisis communications across private corporations and government. She has a MSc in Communications, a MSc in Psychology and a MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology. She also has a PhD in Political Communications. She is a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a member of the Association of Applied Sports Psychologists (AASP). She is registered with the Health Care Professions Council. She writes features for sports magazines and websites and is regularly quoted in the media on how athletes and other performers can use applied sports psychology to enhance their performance.



Chevy Rough

Bio coming soon


Tara Henry

Tara Henry is a former softball player and coach from the United States. She also earned a MA in Sport and International Development at the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom. Her research focused on gender equality in sport. Her goal is to simply provide a safe space for more women to participate in sport all over the world! She is a co-founder of Run the Bases, an organisation dedicated to addressing gender inequality by teaching life skills through sport.


Previous speakers - Coach Summit 2020

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, presented a keynote session on the MLB Throwing Programme as it relates to pitching mechanics and injury prevention.

Bill was active for almost 40 years, in the United States but mainly internationally, as a team manager and pitching instructor and had 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 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 was 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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