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Meyers Selected To USA Baseball Coaching Staff

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: December 07, 2007
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Dec. 7, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 7, 2007 (DURHAM, NC) - USA Baseball announced today that Old Dominion University head coach Jerry Meyers will serve as pitching coach for the 2008 USA Baseball National Team(collegiate). Rob Walton, Head Coach at Oral Roberts University (ORU), returns to the bench for Team USA as the Field Manager of the 2008 program. Walton previously helped lead the 2005 USA Baseball National Team as an assistant coach.

"I am extremely honored to have been selected to be part of the USA Baseball staff for the summer of 2008, " said Meyers. "I am greatly appreciative for the opportunity to represent our Country and Old Dominion University as we compete for the U.S. National Team in hopes of bringing home a gold medal. I am looking forward to working with the USA staff."

Meyers, the 2006 Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year, begins his fourth year as the Monarchs head coach. In 2007, ODU was co-regular season champions and the top seed in the CAA tournament. In 2006, the Monarchs were second in the CAA regular season and climb back into the nations top 20.

ODU's pitching staff led the CAA with a 3.97 earned run average, 471 strikeouts in 519 innings, 11 complete games and five shutouts last season. In 2006 the Monarchs staff compiled a 3.79 earned run average, and broke the school strikeout mark for a season with 511 in 512.2 innings.

Prior to coming to ODU, Meyers served as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina for eight years, and helped guide the Gamecocks to World Series appearances for three straight seasons (2002-04) as pitching coach.

"This is a tremendous honor, and we are delighted that Jerry will have the opportunity to coach at the international level," said ODU athletic Director Jim Jarrett.

Walton is in his fifth season as the head coach of ORU and his 10th season with the school, having previously served as the pitching coach. Walton has a career record of 173-65 as a head coach with the Golden Eagles and holds the highest career winning percentage (.730) in ORU history. He has twice been named Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year and was named 2006 ABCA Mid-West Region Coach of the Year.

During Walton's tenure with ORU, he has coached eight All-Americans, has had 28 players drafted and has directed seven different pitchers to earn conference Pitcher of the Year honors. In his first season as the Golden Eagles' skipper in 2004, Walton lead ORU to its first 50-win season in 20 years while producing the nation's best team winning percentage (.820). Under Walton's guidance, ORU won its 10th consecutive conference championship in 2007 as the Golden Eagles became just the fourth team in NCAA Division I history to win at least 10 straight conference titles.

The 2008 USA Baseball National Team will begin a pre-trials training camp in conjunction with the New England Collegiate Baseball League beginning June 10, 2008. Starting June 20, USA Baseball will partner with Coastal Plain League franchises to present the National Team Trials. The 2008 National Team will be named on June 24 and will begin a seven-game series vs. the Chinese Taipei National Team from June 25-July 1 including stops in Durham, NC and Cary, NC. This will be the fifth installment of the international friendship series between the U.S. and Chinese Taipei. Tickets for the June 27-29 three-game series in Durham are currently on sale through the Durham Bulls' mini-plan packages.

Please visit www.durhambulls.com/tickets/mini_plans.html for more information. The National Team will then head to Europe on July 2 and compete in the 2008 Dutch Honkbal Tournament and a two-game series versus the Czech Republic National Team. On July 18, the U.S. squad will begin the IV FISU World Collegiate Championship in Brno, Czech Republic. The U.S. is the defending gold medalist in the last two FISU championships.

Walton is joined on the 2008 staff by Jerry Meyers, Pitching Coach (Head Coach, Old Dominion University [ODU]), Nino Giarratano, Assistant Coach (Head Coach, University of San Francisco [USF]), and Ritch Price, Assistant Coach (Head Coach, University of Kansas [KU]).

"Rob Walton helped put together a great staff," said Campbell. "The list of quality college coaches involved in the National Team program keeps growing, and I am very excited about getting this staff together and beginning the process of naming 32 players to our trials from a great pool of college athletes."

In 2008 Nino Giarratano prepares for his 10th year on the Hilltop after guiding the Dons to the most successful four-year stretch in program history. Since 2004, USF owns a 104-69 (.601) record, highlighted by the first back-to-back 30-plus win seasons in school history in 2005-06. Giarratano guided the Dons to a share of fourth place in the demanding West Coast Conference (WCC) in 2007, despite losing the 2006 league pitcher and player of the year along with the conference RBI leader.

Kansas Head Coach Ritch Price is entering his sixth season at KU and his 22nd year of working in college baseball. The veteran Jayhawk skipper led the team to its first conference championship in over 50 years as the Jayhawks won the 2006 Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City. Price has amassed a 173-142-1 (.550) at Kansas, which ranks him third in career wins and fifth in career winning percentage at the school. The sixth-year head coach has guided the team to postseason berths in three of his five years at KU.

USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the United States Olympic Baseball Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball National Team (collegiate); the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. For more information on USA Baseball please visit www.usabaseball.com. ###

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