A definite area of focus and pride for the Bombers organization has been and continues to be the level of coaching we are able to provide to our athletes. The Bombers organization is proud to count among their coaches several former professionals, current high school coaches, current MLB scouts, and current NCAA coaches at the division 1, 2, and 3 levels.
Current NCAA coaches Trey Stover (University of Hartford Recruiting Coordinator), Jon Shehan (Millersville University Head Coach), and Ryan Bown (PSU-Harrisburg Head Coach) all took time out of their busy spring schedules to talk briefly about their fondness for and experience with the Bombers.
Coach Stover is in his second season serving as Recruiting Coordinator at his alma mater, the University of Hartford. Prior to joining the Hawks, coach Stover coached at D1 Marist for a season, helping the offense rank 1st in both team average and on base percentage in the MAAC conference. Regarding his experience coaching the 14U Bombers team last summer, coach Stover said the following:
“Coaching with the Keystone State Bombers in the summer of 2020 was not something I had planned on, but it was something I definitely enjoyed! I had spoken with Shaun Vernesoni and Joe Hruska in the past about some of their players I was recruiting and I always really liked their guys. I found myself with some downtime because of the dead period being instituted as a result of COVID-19 and decided to jump in and coach with the Bombers so that I could see first hand what they were doing differently to get their guys ready for the next level. After coaching a team with Joe all summer, what I saw was that the Bombers younger players all showed grit, they all displayed competitive drive in all aspects of the game, and they all showed an unselfish nature with each player wanting his teammates to succeed. Most exciting for me was watching the players take their abilities, competitive edge, and love for the game out on the field. From how hard they ran the bases, the way they never took a pitch off, and the ways the players gravitated towards wanting to learn and listening to ways they could improve, my experience with the Bombers truly showed me that the players have a trust for the program as a whole, as well as for their coaches, and that the players buy into what they are being taught because they see the results it will get them down the road.”
One of the most successful coaches in the country at any level over the last several years, coach Shehan has been an incredible addition to the Bombers staff. In 13 seasons at the helm of national D2 powerhouse Millersville University, Shehan has guided Millersville to seven PSAC Eastern Division Championships, a PSAC Championship, two NCAA Atlantic Regional titles, four 40-win seasons, and eight NCAA Tournament appearances. The Marauders have reached seven consecutive NCAA regionals, and the 2016 Marauders finished as the NCAA Division II Runner-Up.
Shehan, a three-time ABCA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, four-time PSAC East Coach of the Year and the 2016 HERO Sports Division II Coach of the Year, inherited a club that went 9-37 in 2007 and has since produced a 439-220-1 record, ranking second in Millersville history in winning percentage and first in total wins. He was only 31 years old when he notched his 200th win. He now has 10 postseason appearances under his belt, including nine in a row. Shehan’s teams reached the NCAA Atlantic Regional as the No. 1 seed five times since 2011 and has qualified for the regional eight times in the last nine seasons. His 2016 club set a PSAC record for wins in a season with 53 and became one of only three clubs from the league to play for a national championship. That team bested the 2015 team’s record of 45 wins. The 2015 team also became the first Marauder club since 1998 to win a PSAC Championship. His teams have made four PSAC Tournament title games and four NCAA Atlantic Regional title games. The Marauders have also held national rankings in each of the last ten seasons. In 2016, Millersville became just the third PSAC program ever to achieve a regular season national No. 1 ranking. The Marauders spent the entire season ranked in the top three of the Perfect Game Division II Poll, and achieved its No. 1 ranking on April 18th. It spent five consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the Perfect Game poll, four in a row in the NCBWA poll and eight weeks in a row in the top two of the Collegiate Baseball poll.
This years squad, which features a handful of former Bombers, has found success as well, as the Marauders are 19-9 overall and 16-7 in the PSAC, with several players being considered strong prospects for the upcoming MLB draft, including former Bomber Kris Pirozzi. Coach Shehan has a unique perspective on the Bombers, as not only has he recruited several players from the organization, he is also helping to coach the 10U squad, and has two sons in the program. On his time with the Bombers coach Shehan says the following:
“Coaching the Bombers has been an absolute blast! The entire organization is first class from top to bottom. When my wife and I were looking for a travel organization for our boys , we were hoping to find a group of people that our boys could look up to – people who had good values. We were also looking for an organization that would teach them the fundamentals of the game. We didn’t want to join an organization that sacrificed development for the sake of winning. The Bombers have been that organization! Me being able to help coach has just been the icing on the cake.”
Another coach with the unique perspective of having recruited players from the Bombers organization, coaching in the program while also having children in the organization is Ryan Bown, head coach of D3 power Penn State Harrisburg. Under his leadership, the program has enjoyed unmatched success. Bown has led the Lions to a pair of NCAA Division III Tournament appearances (2013, 2019), a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship (2013) and a pair of Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Championship Series appearances (2018, 2019). The Lions are currently an incredible 19-5 and 13-1 in conference! On his experience with the Bombers coach Bown said the following:
“Over the last 9 years I have gotten to know Joe Hruska & Shaun Vernesoni through the recruiting process. I quickly learned they are straight shooters & guys I can trust to give me an honest & fair evaluation of players. When the idea of a MAD Baseball and Bombers merger was first discussed I was super excited. I knew that this would be a great opportunity to combine talented players with knowledgeable coaches. Surrounding yourself with the best makes all of us better. I look forward to helping develop players while also learning from other great coaches in the organization!”