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Meet the Staff

Fletcher Bates

Fletcher Bates is the owner and operator of Coastal Athletics which has been in operation since 2003. He is dedicated to giving the quality instruction needed for improvement and success. Fletcher began his baseball career at a young age and stared out as a fifth round draft pick of the New York Mets in 1993.  He retired after playing 10 years for the Mets, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Phillies, and Orioles organizations. Today, he continues his connection with MLB as an associate scout for the New York Mets. In his years of professional playing Fletcher has received several high achievement awards for his athletic excellence. He has the title of three time All Star as well as three time MVP at the professional level. He was also on Baseball America's top 10 prospect list and the 40 man roster with the Marlins for 2 years. Fletcher’s professional experience is an invaluable asset to the Coastal Athletics team. Fletcher provides baseball instruction and training in all aspects of the game and he is the head owner/operator of the Coastal Athletics facility.

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Fletcher Bates Baseball Instructor Teams Played for

Trot Nixon

Christopher Trotman Nixon was born April 11, 1974 in Durham, NC.  He attended New Hanover High School in Wilmington where, as a senior, he was named the State Player of the Year in both football and baseball.  As a senior he was also named as the Baseball America High School Player of the Year and helped lead the Wildcats to the State 4A title, finishing the season with a .512 batting average, 12 home runs and a state-record 56 RBI's.  He also pitched 40 innings with a 12–0 record and a 0.40 ERA.  Trot was slated to join the North Carolina State football team on a scholarship before being drafted 7th overall by the Boston Red Sox in the 1993 MLB Draft.  The majority of his playing career was spent in Boston, where he played a key role on the 2004 World Series Championship team.  Trot also briefly played with the Indians, Diamondbacks, and Mets organizations.  For his career, Trot batted .274, had 137 HR's and 555 RBI's


Pete Gilardo

Pete Youth Baseball Instructor coach

Pete Gilardo was born in Orangeburg, NY where he made a great name for himself. He excelled all four years at Dominican College (’04-’07) and finished with a career .328 batting average while also being named All-Conference three out of his four years. His most notable accomplishments in college consisted of being named to All-Tournament team after his Sophmore season with an astounding .800 BA for the tournament and also being named a 3 year Captain. Pete was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 MLB Draft and spent most of his time as a catcher but was able to register a few innings on the mound as well. He caught some big name pitchers such as Jon Lester, Josh Becket, and John Smoltz. His experiences in baseball are invaluable to the programs development and the athletes he works with. Pete hopes to affect each of his players in the best way possible.


Pete Youth Baseball Instructor coach Teams Played For

Kenny Flythe

Kenny Flythe Youth Baseball Coach and Instructor

  Kenny Flythe was born in New Bern, NC where he was a multi-sport athlete throughout his high school career. While attending New Bern High Kenny was an All-Conference Shortstop. From New Bern Kenny had a quick stop at Louisburg College for his freshman season before heading to NC Wesleyan playing both Varsity Football and Baseball. During his baseball career at Wesleyan Kenny was an All-Conference and All-Tournament Outfielder on the 2006 D3 World Series Qualifiers. After college he spent some time overseas playing for the Slovanian National team before wrapping up his career.  

Kenny Flythe Youth Baseball Coach and Instructor Teams Played For

Michael Rooney

Michael Rooney Youth Baseball Instructor and coach

Born in St. Louis, Missouri but grew up in Cary, North Carolina, Michael was a four year starter in the middle infield for the varsity baseball team at Cary High School and a 3 Time All-Conference Selection. From Cary, Michael attended college at UNC-Wilmington where he started at shortstop every game but one for his final three seasons as a Seahawk. Helped take UNCW to a regional his sophomore year playing all 62 games at shortstop. He finished his career in the top 10 at UNCW in OBP, Runs Scored, Walks, HBP, Double Plays Turned, as well as breaking the record for Career Assists and Single Season Assists in his senior season. Rooney was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 30th round in 2010 and spent 3 seasons in the minor leagues, making it up to Double-A while playing along side and against big leaguers like Manny Machado, Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Pudge Rodriguez, Adrian Gonzalez and others. He was used at all four infield spots during his minor league career, mostly short and second, as well as a few games in the outfield. He has an abundance of knowledge of the game and has a great passion for the game of baseball which he hopes to pass along to the players.  

Michael Rooney Youth Baseball Instructor and coach teams played for

Brad Mincey

Brad Youth Baseball Instructor

Brad Mincey was born in Wilmington, NC. He attended New Hanover High School and was 3 year starter in the middle infield and on the mound for the varsity wildcats.  Three times an all-state selection, and helped the wildcats to back to back conference championships. Brad was named Mideastern Conference player of the year, as well as the Star-News player of the year, for his play during his junior campaign. He went on to sign and play at East Carolina University. At ECU he helped the Pirates to a super regional appearance against UNC, compiling 10 wins and a 2.89 ERA during the regular season. After a senior year where he was the national leader in ERA for most of the year, he was then was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 28th round. From 2011 to 2014 Brad played in the Marlins minor league system, having Tommy John surgery in 2013. While with the Marlins he got to work with pitching coach Joe Coleman, who played 20 years in the MLB and was part of successful Detroit Tigers teams of the 1970s.  In 2015 Brad headed to Kansas to play with the Wichita Wingnuts, an independent baseball team in the American Association independent baseball league, during the season season he was traded to the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Brad Youth Baseball Instructor Teams played for

Daniel Cropper

Daniel Cropper Youth Baseball Coach


Daniel Cropper was born and raised in Snow Hill, MD where he helped lead the Eagles to their first ever state title in his senior year. After that he went on to play four years at UNC-Wilmington where he finished with a 4.36 ERA and in the top ten in several categories such as, wins(21), games started(50), most shutouts(3), and most strikeouts(236). After being picked in the 42nd round of the draft by the Washington Nationals in 2009 Cropper decided to go back to school and was picked up again as a Free Agent in 2011 by the San Diego Padres where he pitched all his innings out of the pen making it as high as Double A. The Last two years Daniel has pitched in the Frontier League for the Windy City Thunderbolts. Daniel's knowledge of pitching and experience as both a starter and reliever are beneficial to all pitchers looking to improve their skills.
Daniel Cropper Youth Baseball Coach teams played for

Rand Smith

 Rand is from Bolivia NC. He attended South Brunswick High school where he was a 3 sport athlete and received 12 varsity letters. Rand then recieved a baseball scholarship from Appalachian State University. He was an all-conference center fielder there. After college, Rand was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 20th round of the first year player draft and spent 5 years in the Miami Marlins organization. While with the Marlins he played multiple positions and learned from some of the best instructors.  Along with his knowledge of the game, Rand is great at teaching the right way to play the game to the boys!

Stephen Wolff

Stephen was born in Wilmington, NC and is a 1992 graduate of New Hanover High School. He played on the Wildcat football and baseball teams, alongside Trot Nixon and Fletcher Bates. He was named to the Mideastern 4-A All-Conference team as a first baseman his senior year. He went on to sign and play First Base and DH at N.C. State from 1993-1997, participating in 4 NCAA tournaments. Stephen graduated with a degree in Communication and worked briefly with MLB International in England, Germany, Taiwan, and Australia, promoting and teaching the game of baseball. He is entering his 5th year of coaching Rock Solid teams. 



Jason Kuhn

Born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Stafford, Virginia, Jason Kuhn graduated from Brooke Point High School in 2005.  Jason accepted a scholarship to play baseball at James Madison University where he helped lead JMU to its first CAA championship in program history and a regional in 2008.  He was also named CAA Pitcher of the Week and Ping! Baseball Spotlight Performance of the Week in 2008.  After graduating in 2010 with a History degree, Jason accepted a Volunteer coaching position at St. Andrews University, a NAIA school in Laurinburg, N.C.  After his first season, he was elevated to the second assistant and Pitching coach, while also being heavily involved in recruiting 23 new student-athletes to the program.  In 2012 Jason returned to his alma mater, JMU, as a Volunteer Assistant coach.  For the next three seasons he worked as the bullpen and first base coach. In the summer of 2014 Jason was the Pitching coach for the Harrisonburg Turks of the summer collegiate Valley League.  Jason currently resides in Wilmington N.C.


Ben Longton

Ben graduated with honors in 2010 from South Central High School in Winterville NC. He was a 3 year player on the baseball team playing left field and pitching. Ben was described as a real bull dog on the mound by his coach and was the teams effective closer and also starting pitcher.  He also led the team in batting average and homeruns his senior year. Ben attended North Carolina Wesleyan College his freshman year and quickly developed into the team’s closer and most of the year led the league in saves. Ben’s sophomore college season was at Wake Tech Community College where he was used as a spot starter and primary closer. Now attending UNCW, Ben is a Psychology major with plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy.  Ben was born in Massachusetts, is a big Boston sports fan and passionate about the Red Sox. He works as a camp counselor in the summer for children with special needs for the City of Greenville.

Ethan Bilderback

Ethan played three years of varsity baseball at Broadneck Senior high school in Arnold, Maryland. Positions played were middle infield and pitcher. Accomplishment as a team was, making it to the state qualifying game. Did not play right out of high school due to a knee injury. Few years after walked on at Southern Maine. While attending received two conference Player of The Week awards. Both for a batting average over .630. As well as, leading the conference in steals. Both years Ethan  played at Southern Maine they won conference championships.  

Keith Snethen

Keith graduated from R-S Central High School in 2008 and went on to play at Spartanburg Methodist JC. After one year at SMC, he transferred to Catawba Valley CC to play the following two years and served as their catcher. He also has served as the hitting coach for his local Post 423 Junior American Legion team since the summer of 2008 and in 2009 reached the Area IV State Tournament finishing runner up. Keith is currently pursuing a degree in Physical Education at UNCW and will graduate in the fall of 2014.  Keith is a great addition to our program!


Jason Bentzler

        Jason is a 1991 graduate of Taylor High School in Kokomo, Indiana, where he earned All-State baseball honors as a catcher.  Collegiately, Jason played his first two years at Missouri Valley College where he earned first team All-Conference honors before transferring and playing his final two seasons at Pembroke State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Special Education in 1996. Additionally, Jason received his Master’s degree in 2007 from East Carolina University, also in Special Education. Jason began his baseball coaching career in 1997. He has held assistant coaching duties at Lumberton High School, South Brunswick High School, Hoggard High School, and is currently the junior varsity coach at Laney High School in Wilmington. Jason was the head baseball coach at Trask High School in Rocky Point, NC for five seasons (2002-2007). Jason is extremely passionate about baseball and is always open to learning more about the game. His greatest enjoyment comes from working with young people to them develop their baseball skills, as well as teaching them positive character traits and work ethic essential for success in all aspects of life.


Tyree Robinson

        Tyree's passion for baseball goes back to a youngster playing in the Little League parks of Wilmington, NC.  At the age of 13 Tyree was a proud member of a talented WORLD SERIES All-star team from Wilmington. In high school he was a 2 sport varsity letterman in baseball and football. He played pitcher and third base at John T. Hoggard High School where he earned Mid-Eastern 4A conference honors as a pitcher.  Was named MVP and Team Captain for the Vikings as they were 2-time Mid-Eastern 4A Champions. Tyree was selected to participate in the NCHSAA State Games as a junior and senior.  He accepted a baseball scholarship to St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, NC where he was voted team captain after his sophomore year. Tyree earned Coaches and Senior awards as a vital member of the Falcon's baseball program. He proved to be durable at St. Augustine's College by playing pitcher, 3B, 2B, and catcher.  Tyree continues his dedication to the game of baseball by instructing our youth and bringing positive energy to the ball field each day.

Stephen Harrold

Stephen was a 4 year varsity starter at Leesville Road High School. He sign and Pitched 3 years at UNC Wilmington, and was a  Freshman All-American. He was Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 12th round in 2010 and pitched at different levels for the organization. Stephen pitched in Salem Keizer (SS A), Augusta (A), San Jose (A+). After his first season he was invited to pitch in the Arizona Fall League in 2011 and the invited to Big League Spring Training in 2012. Last summer he played for Rockland Boulders in the CanAm league and will be again this coming summer.




Mikhail Wheeler

Mikhail is a native of Leland, North Carolina and graduated from North Brunswick High School in 2008. He was defensive Player of the Year three seasons, and was named all-conference 2007- 2008 season. He was also named to the Brunswick County 2008 team. After receiving several offers to other schools Mikhail attended Southeastern Community College where he helped the Rams capture their first  Region X Championship in 2009. He was one of the team leaders on and off the field serving as Team Captain in 2009-2010 season when he was one of the League’s leaders in stolen bases and On Base Percentage. Mikhail who is in his second year at Coastal Athletics has a great knowledge of the game and enjoys giving back to the kids, instilling the great work ethic that he used as a player.

Andrew Mauldin

Playing Experience: Played for 8 years at On Deck Baseball Academy in Charlotte. 4 year starter for South Mecklenburg High School. 3-time All-Conference Southwestern 4A. Received several D1 offers before accepting a D1 athletic scholarship to play at Liberty University. Has experience playing at Liberty as well as playing in Southern Collegiate Baseball League for 2 seasons before transferring to UNCW where he is finishing up school. Expecting to graduate in fall 2015 with a B.A. Exercise Science.

Corey Caswell

Corey Caswell was born in Broadalbin, New York where he was a multi-sport athlete throughout his high school career.  While attending Broadalbin-Perth High School, Corey was an All-Conference 1st Team Catcher as well as 1st Team All-Conference Quarterback for his Junior and Senior years.  He, then, attended Ithaca College from 2009-2013, located in Ithaca, New York.  While attending Ithaca College, he was named 1st Team New York Region American Baseball Coaches’ Association his Junior and Senior seasons.  He was also a co-captain his Junior and Senior years.  Senior year (in 2013), he and his team made it to the Semi-Finals in the Division III World Series, and was also named 1st Team All-Tournament Team.  After his college career, he played three years of competitive baseball in Independent Baseball Leagues.  He played for the Alpine Cowboys as a starting Catcher in the Pecos Independent Baseball League in 2014, for the Ottawa Champions as a back-up Catcher and starting Outfielder in the Canadian-American Independent Baseball League in 2015, and for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers as a starting Catcher in the United Shores Professional Baseball League in 2016.  He was named and played in the All-Star Game in 2014 for the Pecos League and again in 2016 for the United Shores Professional Baseball League.



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