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Personnel news: Prospect League, USA Baseball, Omaha Storm Chasers

Prospect League 250We have personnel news today from the summer-collegiate Prospect League, USA Baseball and the Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A; Pacific Coast League).

David Brauer is the new commissioner of the Prospect League, replacing Dennis Bastien.

Brauer brings extensive college athletics administration experience to the post, most recently spending a decade as Assistant Commissioner at the NCAA Division I Summit League. His experience also includes communications positions at four Division I universities and leadership roles in government and the private sector.

“We had many qualified individuals interested in leading the Prospect League,” said Bill Davidson, Prospect League President and Director of the Lafayette Aviators, via press release. “David stood out due to his extensive college experience, administrative skills and growth strategies he’s executed with college athletes.”

Brauer played an integral role in The Summit League’s transformation to national prominence. During his tenure, he secured a landmark broadcast agreement, the largest in League history, and launched weekly programming while building a network of television affiliates. Brauer directed all broadcast and media operations for The Summit League Basketball Championships, now known as a premier college tournament. He established The Summit League Hall of Fame along with League policies and marketing campaigns and oversaw a communications staff that garnered unprecedented media coverage for 19 championship sports.

A University of Illinois graduate, Brauer began his career as an undergraduate in the school’s athletic public relations department and as an intern for the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns. He worked closely with the baseball programs at both Purdue and Northern Illinois and in a strategic communications position at South Carolina. Among his experience outside the sports industry, Brauer managed all communications, marketing, and advertising for the Wisconsin Lottery.

At USA Baseball, Ashley Bratcher is new General Manager of National Teams and Eric Campbell the new General Manager of Collegiate and Professional National Teams.

Bratcher has served multiple critical roles in the organization since 2009 and will now oversee and support all three youth national team programs, the Women’s National Team program, national team and athlete development programs, and national team identification events. Additionally, Campbell will continue to lead the Collegiate and Professional National Team programs.

“USA Baseball has grown tremendously over the past few years, and we are happy to announce several changes and promotions within our organization,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler via press release. “The changes showcase the organization’s growth as the national governing body for baseball in the United States. Notably, we are thrilled to elevate Ashley Bratcher to General Manager of National Teams. Ashley’s outstanding leadership and wealth of experience will continue to impact our organization and the amateur baseball landscape significantly and profoundly.”

USA Baseball also announced three additional promotions in the Baseball Operations department. First, Brett Curll will lead the defending world champion 18U National Team Program after serving in a support role with both gold-medal-winning 18U National Teams in 2022. Curll joined the organization in 2018 after spending seven years working in amateur baseball following his collegiate baseball career at the University of Maryland and Liberty University.

Ben Kelley is taking over the two-time defending world champion 15U National Team Program. Kelley joined the organization in 2017 and has helped manage facility operations at the USA Baseball National Training Complex and run the National Team Championships in Arizona over the last five years. In addition, he oversaw the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program and supported several youth national team programs. Cole Beeker joined USA Baseball full-time in the fall and will serve as the program director for the defending world champion 12U National Team. Beeker was an intern for the 18U National Team in 2021 and, most recently, was an amateur scouting assistant for the Detroit Tigers.

An additional change made within the Baseball Operations department is Director of Player Development Jim Koerner will now be responsible for guiding the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP) and 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Koerner, who spent 20 years coaching at the collegiate level, joined USA Baseball full-time in 2021 and will simultaneously continue on as the Field Coordinator for the MLB/USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League as well.

The organization also made several changes within the Communications–formerly Media Relations–and Creative Services teams. Josh Spitz, who joined the organization in 2021 following four years working in the Athletic Communications office at Stony Brook University, was promoted to Assistant Director of Communications. Additionally, Mark Jenkins is the newest Director of Creative Services, and Kevin Jones currently serves as the Director of Brand for the organization. Jenkins joined USA Baseball in 2021 following stops working in creative services for Memphis, Southern Methodist (SMU), and UL Lafayette football programs. Jones has been with USA Baseball since 2012, serving as both a video producer and graphic designer, and spent the last five years as the Director of Creative Services. In his new role, Jones will oversee and develop the identity of USA Baseball in an expanding digital landscape.

Lastly, Lisa Braxton will continue to oversee BASE (Baseball Athlete Safety Education) in her new role as Director of Athlete Safety, in addition to holding expanded responsibility with the entire USA Baseball athlete safety program. Braxton spent nearly a decade at, managing team sales, marketing, and institutional and club business before joining the organization in 2021. She also worked for two years for the NCAA.

The Omaha Storm Chasers announced numerous promotions within its staff prior to the upcoming 2023 season at Werner Park.

Marcus Sabata has been named Assistant General Manager, Sales after previously serving the organization as the Director of Sales. The Rising City, NE native joined the Chasers in January 2022 after years of serving as the General Manager for the Jackson Generals. 

Zach Ziler has been promoted to Assistant General Manager, Tickets and Operations. Ziler joined the Chasers in 2018 as the Group Sales Manager before being promoted to the Senior Director of Tickets in February 2022 and will oversee all aspects of tickets as well as team travel and other operations responsibilities.

Aniya Tate has been promoted to Manager of Human Resources and Community Affairs. Tate has been a part of the Chasers organization since 2021 as the Manager of Human Resources but adds responsibilities around community affairs to her duties to help the Chasers maximize their impact in the community.

Bob Flannery has been promoted to Senior Corporate Sales Executive where he will continue to develop corporate sponsor relationships as he has since he joined the team in January 2022 as a Corporate Sales Executive. 

Skyler Clough has been promoted to Client Services Manager. Previously with the Chasers as a Box Office Associate, Clough moves over to the sales team to work with partners and be the main point of communication for many sponsors. 

Blake Paris has been promoted to Manager of Lead Development. Paris joined the organization in 2021 as a Corporate Sales Executive and will continue to build relationships with businesses in our community through this new role. 

Dru Sauer has been promoted to Group Sales Manager for the Storm Chasers. A part of the Chasers Group Sales department since joining the team in 2021, Sauer will now lead the group sales efforts.

Andrew Rosenau has been promoted to Game Operations Manager. Rosenau, who started with the team as an intern in 2021, has held multiple positions of increasing responsibility since joining the front office team following the 2021 season. 

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