USA Baseball Completes Coaching Staff

By Will Kimmey
April 27, 2004


USA Baseball filled out the coaching staff to assist Frank Cruz on the U.S. national team this summer.

The Loyola Marymount coach will be joined by two more head coaches in North Carolina State’s Elliott Avent and UC Riverside’s Jack Smitheran as well as Southern California pitching coach Dave Lawn.

“These coaches each have a unique background and all three have been a part of college baseball at its highest level,” said Eric Campbell, USA Baseball’s director of national teams. “We are very fortunate to have their help this summer as we try to capture the collegiate level world championship.”

Smitheran, in his 35th season in coaching, served as an assistant for Team USA in 1971, while this marks the first USA Baseball experience for Avent and Lawn.

“I am flattered and deeply honored to be a part of the 2004 USA Baseball National Team,” Avent said. “I can’t think of a greater honor for a baseball player or coach than to be asked to be a part of Team USA.”

Team USA will make two trips to the Far East, first for the Japan Series and then to Taiwan for the World University Championships from July 22-Aug. 1.

The staff will also help select the team from a pool of 36 college freshmen and sophomores invited to the June trials, which will be held Durham, N.C.

Arizona State’s Jeff Evans will serve as the team’s press officer.