USA Baseball uses its Tournament of Stars to help identify the nation's top 18-and-under players for its 18U national team. This year's Tournament begins next week—just in time for USA Baseball to introduce its new director of 18U national teams.
Shaun Cole, previously the pitching coach at Arizona, will be the new 18U director. Cole replaces Brant Ust, who left to become an assistant athletic director at Notre Dame, his alma mater.
See also: USA Baseball’s announcement on Cole
The hiring of Cole—not quite two years removed from helping Arizona win the 2012 College World Series—is a coup for USA Baseball, which has elevated the 18U program to a place alongside the Collegiate National Team as twin pillars of the organization. Cole, a 2004 graduate from William Penn (Iowa), gives the 18U national team a youthful leader with recent playing and coaching experience and a national championship pedigree.
The 18U program has had college coaches leading the program in recent years, with Penn State's Rob Cooper and ex-big leaguer Scott Brosius of Linfield (Ore.) heading the last two teams. Andy Stankiewicz, another ex-big leaguer and the head coach at Grand Canyon, will lead this year's team. His assistants will include two other college coaches, Florida A&M's Jamey Shouppe and Franklin Pierce (N.H.) coach Jayson King.
Arizona had yet to name a replacement for Cole, who had joined the program in January 2009 in an operations role. He became UofA's pitching coach in 2010 and was instrumental in shaping the 2012 staff that helped the Wildcats win their fourth national championship. However, this year, Arizona had a 22-33 record.