TRAINING TEAM

Our training team will bring together the best baseball minds in the region

Aby Valdez – Head of Baseball Instruction

Aby was raised in the heart of Dominican Republic.  Aby is the KMBA training lead and guides all training. A quality program begins with a quality leader.  We have found that leader in Aby Valdez. He completed his Bachelors in Physical Training and is certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association(NSCA) and holds a Sports Nutrition and Biochemistry Certificate, an Advanced Certificate I and II in Exercise Physiology, Biochemistry, Nutrition, and Sports Supplement.  Aby brings 20 years of experience in Hitting, pitching, defense, and physical training in both areas baseball and conditioning (individual and team) atmospheres. Aby is our training lead and works closely with all trainers to ensure our program lives up to his high standards. Athletic Trainer, Tigres de Licey, Santo Domingo 2010-2013 Responsible for physical training (field and conditioning), nutrition, physical rehabilitation in case of injury, and massage therapy for: Pedro Antonio Liriano- pitcher (former MLB player) Ramon Ortiz- pitcher (former MLB player) Athletic Trainer, Gigantes del Cibao, San Francisco de Macorís 2008-2009 Responsible for physical training (field and conditioning), nutrition, physical rehabilitation in case of injury, and massage therapy for: Antonio Bastardo- pitcher, former MLB player (trained 2008-2010) Fabio Castro- pitcher, former MLB player (trained 2007-2009)…

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Andrew Robb – Head of Player Physical Assessments

Dr. Andrew Robb holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brock University where he also was a member of the Canadian National Championship Baseball Team (98’). He went on to graduate from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and eventually post graduate fellowship from the Royal College of Chiropractors of Sports Sciences. Clinical care provided by Dr. Robb is the administration of advanced assessments, including movement-function based approaches, and advanced rehabilitative therapeutics. Dr. Robb has published in various scientific journals in the areas of soft tissue therapy, baseball biomechanics, shoulder injuries, and functional movements. He is on clinical faculty at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Dr. Robb has collaborated with various organizations including, Canadian Athletic Coaching Centre, American Sports Medicine Institute, and Major League Baseball. Dr. Robb focuses in the area of baseball pitching biomechanics, throwing injuries, and sports performance and conditioning. He is a consultant for various baseball organizations and is also involved with Major League Baseball conducting research. Dr. Robb is published in various sport science journals on the topics of baseball injuries and hip function. He is an international lecturer on the topics of arm, hip, baseball related injury mechanics and movement sciences. He has lectured at Laurier…

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Luke Baker – Mental Gameplay & Goal Setting

Luke is a former IBL Panthers player and field manager with a love for the game and for the challenges it creates. Luke works with coaching clients and team members to use powerfully proven tools and techniques to achieve desired mental and emotional states that allow them to perform at their highest levels. A former all-star, and 2002 IBL MVP, Baker played 14 seasons for the IBL Panthers

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Lauren Fulop – Head of Sports Nutrition & Wellness

A former university athlete and current coach, high school health & physical education teacher, and group fitness instructor, Lauren addresses the needs of aspiring athletes and their families. Growing up in a professional sports family has exposed Lauren to the highs and lows of elite athletic achievement. From the days of organizing hockey camps in her native Tillsonburg, Ontario with father Colin Campbell and brother Gregory Campbell of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Lauren has gained valuable insight into the mindset of elite level athletes. Lauren is a graduate with an honors degree in Human Kinetics and teaching degree from the University of Windsor. She also has her fitness instructor specialist qualifications from Can FIT Pro, First Aid/AED/CPR qualifications, and teaches a variety of fitness classes to all ages. In May of 2016, she received her certification in becoming a registered Holistic Nutritionist. She has competed in the CN Tower Climb several times, as well as run multiple 10km and half-marathons. Lauren aims to help people achieve smart holistic and balanced nutritional and wellness goals.

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BJ York – Catching Instructor

B.J. is currently a catching instructor an assistant coach with the Ontario Nationals organization. He has previously coached with the Waterloo Tigers, Tri-City Giants and Kitchener Panthers. In 2019, he was the catching coach for the KSAC Oilers in Clarion, Pennsylvania. As a CIS student-athlete, B.J. was a 4-time Academic All-Canadian with the University of Waterloo and the University of Winnipeg. He currently teaches at St. David Catholic High School in Waterloo.

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Nathan Laird – Pitching Instructor

Currently rostered with the IBL Panthers, Nathan was the COBA Baseball Rookie of the Year in 2020. Nathan’s accomplishments also include being a member of the OUA Brock Badgers, ICBA Senior Player of the Year in 2015, Junior ICBA All-Star in 2016 and OBA provincial champion.    

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Team Field Managers

Brian Hawley – 2006 Field Manager

As a former IBL player and umpire, Brian has both played and officiated baseball in Ontario at its’ highest level. A long serving ICBA volunteer from Stratford, Brian has focused his coaching on the 13U-18U programs and is thrilled to be leading our 2006 team with the support of our baseball program instructors. Brian has served as both the Pitching and Infielding instructor at Pinnacle Fieldhouse, bringing his expertise in both those areas to our joint-program. Brian was also Stratford Minor Baseball’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year. “Having coached in the age group for a number of years, I am uniquely suited to lead the 2006 Bearcats team to success. The ICBA has depth at the 2006 age group – I look forward to working with the Bearcats leadership team to identify the best talent available. Our goal is an 18U National Title, with many championships along the way.” – Brian Hawley, 2006 Field Manager

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Kevin Phillip – 2007 Field Manager

A little league All-Star from Largo, Florida, Kevin has had playing success both north and south of the border. Kevin is a former ICBA Champion and provincial semi-finalist with the Kitchener Junior Dodgers, and has volunteered for KMBA in many roles – currently as the Rep Program Director. Working with colleagues in 2021, Kevin created and facilitated a workshop for KMBA coaches titled “Not Just Skills and Drills” which provided insight and training for coaches to better understand and navigate the mental health of players and families. “After coaching my son through 18U, the Bearcats program is a natural fit for me to contribute as a non-parent coach in the ICBA. I look forward to incorporating my mental health expertise in my coaching strategies for the 2007 team. We will build an immediate contender with the best talent from across the ICBA.” – Kevin Phillip, 2007 Field Manager

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James Charbonneau – 2007 Assistant Field Manager

A current member of the Kitchener Panthers EBLO 14U Elite coaching staff, James will transition to the new Bearcats Program, bringing with him his coaching experience from ICBA in Guelph, and the Fergie Jenkins League. James has playing experience in both the ICBA and BDMBA, and has been umpiring for 30 years. “I look forward to supporting Kevin, and working with the rest of the Bearcats program to take an Elite 2007 team to the top of the PBLO.” – James Charbonneau, 2007 Assistant Field Manager

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Jason Luscombe – 2008 Field Manager

As a dual-sport athlete, Jason is a former MVP on the baseball diamond, and the basketball court, who played competitively until 2018. Jason has experience bringing together the best of the ICBA as a former ICBA AllStar head coach, and currently also serves as an ICBA convenor. Jason has over 20 years coaching experience across three Rep sports. “Having been selected to attend an MLB combine in high school, I understand as a player what it takes to succeed. The 2008 Bearcats team is well positioned to see immediate success. Bringing together the best talent from across the ICBA and showcasing our talent in not only league play, but also in provincial championships – players will have the best opportunity around to display their talents to a wide variety of post-secondary options.” – Jason Luscombe, 2008 Field Manager

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Mark Couch – 2008 Assistant Field Manager

As a player Mark was selected as a Cambridge Cub to the first ICBA Junior Elite team versus Canadian Junior series, and then enjoyed success as a junior Cambridge Bulldog. Mark has enjoyed success as a coach leading teams to ICBA Championships, Baseball Ontario Championships, coaching on the staff of an ICBA AllStar team, and as a current EBLO Elite Coach. Mark is a former Coach of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year, and developed the Panther Pipeline program for player development within KMBA. “Jason and I have worked together with the best talent from the ICBA before – and I look forward to working with him again. The Bearcats program is uniquely designed to mimic the success found at 11U and 13U in the ICBA AllStar model, but in a year-round, league program. Every centre should be proud to send the best players to represent their local as a part of this team.” – Mark Couch, 2008 Assistant Field Manager

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The Front Office

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