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|OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball has announced the USA Softball Men’s |
National (MNT) assistant coaches that will join Head Coach Gregg Leather (Staten Island, N.Y.) during the 2019 season. Ron Guzman (Salinas, Calif.), Ron Hackett (Richmond, Va.), Greg Hicks (Bakersfield, Calif.), Nick McCurry (Ashland, Ohio) and Gerald Muizelaar (Grand Forks, N.D.) will assist Leather as the team competes at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and select international events on the 2019 calendar.
This will be the first stint on the coaching staff for Hackett and Muizelaar while Guzman, Hicks and McCurry have each previously held roles on the MNT coaching staff.
Guzman, along with Hicks and McCurry, helped lead the 2018 U.S. team that competed at the Intercontinental Cup in Prague, Czech Republic. Despite a 1-4 showing at the event, Team USA proved they are a Top Five contender with a 5-4, walk-off win over Argentina.
“I am extremely honored to be a part of the USA Softball Men’s National Team program this summer,” said Guzman. “I’m looking forward to working with Coach Leather and the entire staff. This is the absolute pinnacle in your career to be able to wear the Red, White and Blue while representing your country.”
Hicks and McCurry have served as Assistant Coaches for the MNT since the 2014 season. In their tenure with Team USA, the duo has coached at two WBSC Men’s World Championships and the 2015 Pan American Games.
“As a player or coach, the highest honor you could ever get is to represent the United States,” said McCurry. “There is no better feeling to have a jersey with ‘USA’ on your chest. I’m very thankful that I am chosen for this prestigious honor. Softball has been in my blood ever since I was a very young man. I want to thank everyone that is involved in USA Softball for selecting me. I will never forget this honor. We are looking forward to working with the athletes to win a Gold Medal.”
Hicks and McCurry were also a part of the 2017 coaching staff that helped Team USA claim the Bronze Medal at the Pan American Championship – the first international medal for the U.S. since 2003.
“Being selected to be part of the coaching staff for the 2019 season is very special,” said Hicks. “Any time you can stand on a ball field with ‘USA’ across your chest – it is an unbelievable feeling and never gets old. I feel unbelievably blessed with the opportunity to represent my country in international competition. It is a unique experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Hackett joins the USA Softball MNT program for his first stint as Assistant Coach after being around the men’s game for a number of years. A native of Elkland, Pa., a hotbed for men’s fast pitch, Hackett played a number of years at the men’s major level. Beginning in 2015, Hackett transitioned into administrative roles, coaching and sponsoring several teams who finished in the Top 5 at the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship.
“It’s an honor to be selected as part of the Men’s National Team coaching staff,” said Hackett. “To represent your country competing against the best in the world is the pinnacle of our sport. I’m humbled and appreciative for the opportunity USA Softball has given us to represent our country this year.”
Muizelaar is making his first appearance as a coach for the MNT program, though he packs plenty of experience as an alumni of the program. A member of the 2013-2015 MNT rosters, Muizelaar competed in two WBSC Men’s World Championships and the 2015 Pan American Games. Muizelaar compiled a 2-3 record in 36 and one-third innings in the circle for Team USA at the World Championships, fanning 53 batters while he went 1-0 at the Pan American Games with 11 strikeouts in 10 and two-third innings pitched.
“I am very excited to continue my involvement with the USA Softball Men’s National Team,” said Muizelaar. “I know that my desire to compete on the field will never go away, but I look forward to the new challenge of coaching this group of talented athletes. With the right preparation, I believe that we can compete with the best in the world and have a legitimate opportunity to achieve our goal of winning Gold this summer.”
For more information on the USA Softball National Team program, please visit USASoftball.com.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland — the Olympic Capital — the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 208 National Federation and Associate Members in 135 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually.
The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Premier12, World Baseball Classic, Baseball World Cups, Softball World Cups and Softball World Championships, as well as baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games.
For more information, visit www.wbsc.org, which is available six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.