Bob Piddock to lead U-18 Men's National Team

March 15, 2019, 3:21 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball has announced today that Bob Piddock (Castro Valley, Calif.) has been selected as the Head Coach for the 2019-2020 U-18 Men’s National (MNT).  Piddock will lead the team at the U-17 Men’s Pan American Championship November 2-10, 2019 in Guatemala City, Guatemala in hopes of earning a spot to compete at the first-ever U-18 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s World Cup, slated to be held February 22-March 1, 2020 in New Zealand.

Piddock has coached fast pitch softball in a variety of capacities for the last 25 years, where he has led teams to eight USA Softball National Championships.  At the international level, Piddock served as an Assistant Coach for the 2018 USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team (JMNT), where he helped guide the program to a 2-4 record and eighth-place finish at the WBSC Junior Men’s World Championship.  Most recently, Piddock has played a pivotal role in the creation of the Men’s Futures Team, which provides player-development opportunities for athletes within the MNT player pool.

“I am truly thankful and honored to be selected as the U-18 Men’s National Team Head Coach,” said Piddock.  “It is such an honor to wear the Red White and Blue again.  I am looking forward to putting a great group of young athletes together to represent the United States in 2019-2020 and working with all the Assistant Coaches as we strive for Gold.”

Joining Piddock as Assistant Coaches are Tony Aresco (Stoneham, Mass.), Mike Armitage (Normal, Ill.) and Jerry Zimmerman (Ephrata, Pa.). 

Aresco, who was a member of the 1998 USA Softball MNT athlete pool, has over 30 years of experience coaching men’s fast pitch and has led his teams to four USA Softball National Championship titles.  He was also a member of the 2018 USA Softball JMNT coaching staff that competed at the WBSC Junior Men’s World Championship.

"It is a great honor to be chosen as a coach for Team USA and to be paired once again with Bob Piddock and Mike Armitage,” said Aresco.  “I look forward to teaching young men the game of fast pitch softball at the international level and hope to instill the love and passion I have for the game unto them.”

Armitage played for over 18 years at the highest level of men’s fast pitch, earning First Team All-American honors as a player in USA Softball National Championship play before transitioning into a coaching role at the conclusion of his playing career. 

“I feel a great sense of honor and pride to wear the USA jersey,” said Armitage.  “To have the opportunity to represent our country at any level of softball has always been a dream of mine. Having that dream become a reality, I feel it is my duty to do everything I can to help the team put the best product on the field as possible.”

“I think the challenge of finding a team in such a short period of time and getting them to believe in themselves and each other is what I’m looking forward to the most,” Armitage continued.  “Most of these athletes won’t know each other, so to get them all moving in the same direction and working toward one common goal will be challenging to say the least. But I have full confidence in everyone involved in building this team that we will do our country proud.”

Zimmerman will be making his first appearance as an Assistant Coach with USA Softball.  A native of Lancaster, Pa., which has a large community of men’s fast pitch athletes, Zimmerman played a number of years before transitioning into administrative roles.  He has been a part of several teams who have competed at the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, both as an athlete and coach.

"I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to represent Team USA with the U-18 Men's National Team as an Assistant Coach,” said Zimmerman.  “Softball has been a passion of mine for the better part of my life and I cannot wait to share that with the young players who will be the future of this sport.  I look forward to working with Coach Piddock to mentor the young men who will go on to put their stamp on competitive men's fast pitch for years to come.”

Piddock and the coaching staff are seeking interested male athletes born in 2002 or later for the 2019-2020 rosters.  For any athletes interested in finding out more information on player evaluations, please email Director of National Teams, Chris Sebren, at csebren@usasoftball.com

For more information on the USA Softball National Team program, please visit USASoftball.com.

About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. 
 
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, 
www.USASoftball.com.

About the World Baseball Softball Confederation 

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland -- the Olympic Capital -- the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 208 National Federation and Associate Members in 135 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 

The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Premier12, World Baseball Classic, Baseball World Cups, Softball World Cups and Softball World Championships, as well as baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games.

For more information, visit www.wbsc.org, which is available six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.