Two Central Coast coaches to coach USA Baseball this summer

Posted at 10:49 PM, Jun 14, 2023

Not one but two local baseball coaches will be donning the red, white and blue next week as members of USA Baseball with Cal Poly baseball’s Head Coach Larry Lee taking up the manager position of the Collegiate National Team while St. Joseph’s Bryan Madsen will be an assistant with the 12U National Team.

Coach Lee was a part of the 2017 Collegiate National Team as an assistant but now, will take the reins after year’s of interest from USA Baseball.

“I thought if I don't do it now, I'll never do it so I'm glad I made that decision and it'll be a great experience," Lee said.

Coach Madsen got the call to officially take a spot on the team after years of assisting with USA Baseball in a variety of coaching and training positions.

“This year they gave me the opportunity to be on the staff, which, it's quite a phone call," Madsen said laughing. "You don't know to ever expect to get it. I'm older, but I'm still I'm only been coaching for nine years, so it's really an honor.”

The turnaround is quick for both national teams with the collegiate team getting four intra-squad games in a Stars vs. Stripes series to determine a full roster before international competition.

“There's a lot of things to go over, but you got to keep it as simple as possible,” Lee explained. Him and his staff will be responsible for cutting the field down from the 56 premier non-draft eligible players showing up to Cary, North Carolina down to a final 26-man roster.

For the 12U team, they also have a four day training camp before heading to World Cup at the July 28 in Taiwan.

“Last year we went on the field with the college team for that Stars and Stripes series so they could see what it can do and hopefully go with another gold," Madsen said of last year's group. He has been with USA Baseball in a variety of different way most recently as an assistant coach in last summer’s 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP).

While not directly sharing the field together, they will wear the same Team USA on their chest. The last time they wore the same uniform was when Madsen played for Coach Lee at Cuesta College from 1993-1995, a time that Madsen believes helped shape his coaching career.

“I think playing for him at that time in my life was a formative time, even though I kind of went a different direction, I went in the Marine Corps. When I came back to it, you come back to those base levels and you grow from there. So year round, I'm trying to become a better coach and trying to become a better man, father, husband, all that stuff. I think it starts kind of in that with the examples that he set.”

Meanwhile after 40 years of coaching, a point of pride for Lee is seeing many former players go on to become coaches themselves paying it forward to next crop of players on the Central Coast.

“I think this is great. What Bryan's doing, and he's doing a great job on what he does, I think we need more people like that in our community.”

While both the Collegiate National Team and 12u National Team begin their training camps at the same time, the college group begins international competition July 1 against Chinese-Taipei while the 12U squad doesn't play in the World Cup until July 28 in Taiwan.