Meet THE Coaches
Ernie Smith is a former head high school and assistant collegiate coach whose background includes working with Danville and Rich East High schools, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Bradley University, and the University of St. Francis where his teams won seven state titles in eight years and finished 9th, 13th, and 9th in the college world series. He has also worked with youth teams from ages 5 through 18 starting in 1980 to the present, including more than 20 summer travel seasons. Ernie holds a degree in Secondary Education with a Coaching minor from UIUC, with a concentration in baseball, football, and basketball. He was also on a coaching clinic speaking circuit with the legendary coach Gordie Gillespie, who was his mentor in baseball over a 25-year span. He is married with three boys, all of whom play baseball.
2021 12U Coach
Tom Tucker has been coaching youth baseball for over 15 years, with experience levels ranging from T-Ball to 17u College Showcase teams. Tom brings a strong focus on fundamentals and a concentration in personal and athletic development. Many of Coach Tucker’s former players have gone off to have successful high school and college baseball careers.
My name is Coach Jerry Rivera. I’m very passionate about baseball. I enjoy coaching youth baseball and using my experiences from the baseball teams I played on and my military career. I’ve been with the Bombers Organization as a Coach since the 2015 season. I recently completed my Master's degree in psychology and believe that baseball is truly a game of skill and psychology. I look forward to seeing you on the field.
2021 15U Coach
Coach Fijalkowski has learned from some of the best in the game including Jim Morris (former Team USA pitching coach), Mo Drabowski (former MLB Pitching Coach), and Jim Fannin (one of the leading Professional Sports Psychologists), just to name a few.
Coach Fijalkowski graduated from West Chicago HS as an All-Area Pitcher, Area MVP, and DuPage County ERA and strikeout leader. He then played at College of DuPage where he was an All-Conference player. After COD he transferred to Leo University in Florida and played in two seasons at DII College.
Mike Rizzo has played varsity baseball throughout his career in school. Mike was a player/coach in the North Suburban Baseball League for men 25 and younger, for 5 years. Mike has been coaching youth travel baseball & softball for more than 20 years. Mike was the head coach for the Lake in the Hills Pirates and coached for the LITH Thunder. Mike created opportunities for his players to participate in tournaments throughout the United States including Perfect Game in GA, Cal Ripken in SC, & playing all west coast teams in Colorado. Mike's goal is to guide and facilitate players to develop a love and respect for the game of baseball which might open channels for players to reach their individual goals. Mike is enjoying watching his former players advance in the NCAA Division I, II, III programs while completing strong educational programs.
2021 17U Coach
Matt Sibigtroth is a 2001 graduate of Hampshire High School where he was a 4-year varsity starter and team MVP all 4 years. Matt played college baseball for Kishwaukee College where he was a starting middle infielder. He was named to the All-Region IV Team. Matt transferred to the University of Dayton, where again he was a starting middle infielder and one of their leaders at the plate. Coach Sib has coached at the High School level as a Varsity Assistant at Marion Central Catholic High School and was a part of their championship team in 2005 that made a trip downstate. Matt Sibigtroth specializes in hitting, fielding, and pitching while running camps at PCA, doing individual private lessons, and working with travel teams in the offseason.