Head Coach: Blake Nation
Originally from Statesboro, Georgia Coach Blake Nation is a 2008, 22nd round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners and has an extensive college and professional playing resume. Nation, a right-handed pitcher was a member of the 2005-08 Georgia Southern University Baseball team. After being drafted by the Mariners, Nation played three seasons with various Mariners affiliates including the Pulaski Mariners, Clinton Lumberkings, and High Desert Mavericks.
In addition, Nation’s professional playing career also included experience with several independent baseball teams such as the Fort Worth Cats and the Southern Illinois Miners. In his six seasons in professional baseball he accumulated a 29-17 record as a relief pitcher and a 3.21 earned-run-average (ERA).
Following his playing career Blake Nation pursued his passion in coaching and in 2011 was named the Assistant coach of the East Georgia College Bobcats a member of the Division 1 NJCAA were he spent two seasons. Nation’s most recently began his head coaching career when he was named head coach of Middleton High School in Tampa, Florida.
“I am excited about the opportunity to coach for the DiamondDawgs this upcoming season. I hope to fulfill the expectations of the fans, players and front office and lead this team to a championship. As a former collegiate and professional baseball player, I understand the importance of participating in summer collegiate baseball leagues for future professional playing opportunities, I hope to provide the players with the instruction and motivation they need to continue their growth as a collegiate player.”
“The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs are pleased to have been able to bring Blake Nation to Little Falls for the summer to coach the DiamondDawgs this upcoming season”, said DiamondDawgs President Travis Heiser. “Blake brings an enthusiasm and passion about the game that is unrivaled and will serve us well as we prepare to bring a championship to the Mohawk Valley – we look forward to what the summer brings.”
Assistant Coach: Steve Luby
The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs are proud to announce that Steve Luby will be joining the Dawgs as part of its 2015 coaching staff. Coach Luby brings 27 years of baseball coaching experience to Little Falls, currently serving in his fourth year as an assistant coach with the Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC) Chukars baseball team. Prior to TVCC, Coach Luby coached 20 years as a high school head coach in Oregon and well as three years at the college level at Western Baptist College (Corban College) as the infield and catching coach.
Coach Luby has many accomplishments in his 27 plus years in coaching including being named State Baseball Coach of the Year in 1991, five time winner of Conference Coach of the Year, and winning a State Championship during his tenure.
Prior to entering coaching, Coach Luby excelled as an athlete being named All-State in Football and Baseball at Marist H.S. in Eugene, Oregon. At the collegiate level, Coach Luby played 2B his freshman year at Oregon State University and spent his sophomore year at Eastern Oregon State College where he was an All-Conference Outfielder, and transferred his junior year to Western Oregon State College where he was an All-Conference Infielder. Injuries cut his baseball playing days short and thus Coach received a degree in Law Enforcement and then Education and has taught speed and strength training for 25 years at the high school level and is currently still a teacher is Oregon.
Coach Luby is very familiar with the DiamondDawgs as well as the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) having coached last season with the Watertown Rams . “I’m very excited to be a part of the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. I look forward to working with Travis and Blake (head coach), and the quality young men that we are bringing to our club. I know the community and fan base is excellent and whole heartedly supports the Dawgs, and I expect us to put an exciting and top notch team on the field and compete for the title. I’m proud to be a Diamond Dawg!”
DiamondDawgs owner Travis Heiser is also very excited to bring Coach Luby aboard, “our players and this organization is very lucky to be able to bring in someone with the baseball acumen and longevity that Coach Luby brings with him, his experience and knowledge will help this team and our coaching staff tremendously.”
Coach Luby has two children: a son Tyler (22) and a daughter Danielle (19).
The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs kick off its 2015 season at Veteran’s Memorial Park in June!