Coach Josh Johnson-HRCBL Knights
Coach Johnson is entering his 4th season at the helm for the HRCBL Knights. Johnson coached the Knight to a championship in the HRCBL’s inaugural season. Previous to the HRCBL, Johnson served as an assistant coach at the Division II College of Saint Rose where he worked with pitchers, defensive skills of position players, and base running. During the summer circuit, Coach Johnson was the pitching coach and first base coach for the Perfect Game’s Albany Dutchmen, and Head Coach of the RailCats in the Interstate Collegiate baseball league. In 2017 Johnson won the ICBL championship with the ‘Cats after falling in the championship the year prior. Additionally, Johnson has coached 16 players who have since signed professional contracts. Coach Johnson is looking to get back to, and win another ring with the HRCBL Knights in 2020.
Coach Johnson’s baseball philosophy is the development of players in the summer time, to prepare student-athletes to compete for positions when they return to school in the fall. Johnson believes in ample playing time for all players and teaching the fundamentals of the game.
Coach Ed DuPont-HRCBL Storm
Ed DuPont is entering his 21st season as a Head Coach. Ed started coaching in the New Windsor Little League to begin his coaching career. Along the way he coached in the Kingston NY Little League and the Catskill NY Little League coaching players of all ages. He guided the 33 team league in Catskill as their President for four years. The league had a Junior and Senior team in the final four in consecutive years. For six seasons Coach DuPont coached Elite Division Level of travel Youth Baseball, starting with the Coxsackie Owlz and most recently with the Capital District Storm Elite Program. Ed coached collegiately in the Thruway Collegiate Baseball League, Interstate Collegiate Baseball League and Hudson River Collegiate League. In 2017 his Storm team won the Hudson Division and had an impressive 11 game winning streak. The Storm had the lowest team ERA at 4.21 in the league in 2017 with the pitchers being second in the league in strikeouts with 161. The team also had the best defense posting a .986 average. In 2018 Coach DuPont led the Storm to the Championship Series. Along the way the Storm had a 10 game winning streak. 2019 the Storm won the division and the HRCBL Championship Series vs the Rattlers. The team finished the season with a 20-8 record.
In 2020 DuPont guided the defending Champsionship Storm team to its second straight Championship and third straight HRCBL appearance.
Coach Joe Sportman-HRCBL Rattlers
Joe Sportman is in his second season as an assistant coach at The College of Saint Rose. Sportman is responsible for developing outfielders and their defensive skills. Also is the assistant hitting coach, working closely with players to better develop their swing mechanics, and overall team hitting approach. Sportman started the first two years of his college playing career at Schenectady County Community College, under the great Tim Andi. Sportman finished his final two years at Utica College, seeing playing time as both an outfielder and second baseman. During Sportman’s coaching career, he spent two seasons at Colonie High School as the assistant coach for the varsity team. Also spent two summers as a head coach with a local high school travel team, Frozen Ropes Outlaws. During the two summer seasons his team eclipsed an over all record of 44-9, including a runner up finish at the Don Mattingly World Series in Surprise, Arizona.
Coach Joe Braim-HRCBL Mud Cats
Coach Joe Braim’s love of the game started when he was a small child now more than 16 years later he is choosing to pursue his passion of becoming a coach. This will be Braim’s second year as a head coach.
Playing four years at Southern Vermont College he was a captain and dominating pitcher. He started as a dual position player who transitioned into a pitcher only. Braim’s work ethic propelled him to become the programs ace pitcher. In his time at SVC he ranks in the top three in 5 of the program records. He has played with top baseball prospects that have turned professional while at the Ripken Collegiate league in Myrtle Beach, SC.. Braim was selected as an intern for SVC and was responsible for the recruiting of new players. Joe went to showcases to evaluate player talent and skill levels. He began to build a network of great players and establish relationships with several coaches in the northeast.
Coach Braim played one summer in the Thruway Collegiate Baseball League for the River Bandits, one summer in Myrtle Beach Collegiate Baseball League for the Ocho’s, and one year in the Hudson River Collegiate Baseball League with the Knights. He has participated in showcases that include Diamond Nation and Under Armour Baseball Factory. Coach Braim specializes in pitching and infield techniques. He worked alongside player trainer and scout Jon Stewart of the LA Dodgers for 3 years. Among Coach Braim’s accomplishments he has been named NECC Pitcher of the week 2 weeks in a row in 2016 and through his first 300 batters faced at SVC he only allowed 27extra base hits. In 2019 Coach Braim guided the HRCBL Rattlers to the Championship series in his first season as a head coach. In 2020 Coach Braim took the Mudcats directly into the playoffs in their very first year in the HRCBL.
Coach Trevor Kniffin-HRCBL Bears
Trevor Kniffin is going into his 5th season of coaching and 1st season as the Head Coach of the Bears. A 2016 Suburban Council First-Team All-Star and NYSPHSAA All-State Selection as a senior when he posted a 5-0 record and a 0.72 ERA in 6 starts. He then spent 2 years at Hudson Valley Community College as a player, where he was coached by current Villanova Pitching Coach, Jabin Weaver and New York State Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Alteri. Kniffin started his coaching career at 18 years old as the program Pitching Coach and assistant coach of the freshman team at Bethlehem High School, where he graduated from in 2016. Kniffin coached the Bethlehem Eagles 16u for one year before taking a job at All-Stars Academy as the pitching coach for their Elite and Select travel teams. During his time at All-Stars Academy he worked closely with many Division 1 pitchers who are committed to schools including Louisiana State University, University of Pittsburgh, and SUNY Stony Brook. Last summer, Kniffin was the pitching coach of the 2020 HRCBL Champion Storm, who’s pitching staff was dominant all season.
Coach Vinny Spruill-HRCBL Orioles
Coach Vince is looking forward to his first year at the helm of the Orioles. A SUNY Cobleskill alum and a three year Pitcher for the fighting tigers Vince is looking to bring energy and passion for the game as well developing players to be successful on the field and off the field. Coach Vince holds a Masters in Sports Management as well as Athletic Administration. Vince has coached all levels and is excited to get to work with college level athletes.
Off of the diamond Vince loves to keep up with all sports as well as coach and chase after his 7 year old son Cooper.
Coach Vince believes that you make your own opportunities and loves the quote “don’t be surprised, be ready.”
Coach Antony Mantova-HRCBL Bucks
Coach Antony Mantova is looking forward to his 1st season as the Head Coach of the Bucks. Mantova was an outfielder for four years at nationally ranked St. John Fisher College. Going into his Senior season he was named 2nd team preseason All-American by D3baseball.com. In 2019, he posted a .377 batting average with four homeruns and 42 RBI’s. He was named 1st team All-Conference by the Empire 8 and 1st team All-Region by both the ABCA and D3baseball.com.
Coach Mantova was an outfielder for the Knights during the inaugural season of the HRCBL and played a big role in delivering the leagues first championship. Mantova will coach his players with the same passion he had during his playing days.