Muckdogs Coaching Staff
Providing a Fundamental Approach To Success
Bret Pagni – General Manager/ Owner/ Muckdogs 19U assistant coach/ Muckdogs 9U Head Coach
Bret played locally at McQueen High School (’91-’93) and at Reno High School (’94). After graduating he went on to play California Community College baseball at Yuba College (’95-’96) in Marysville, California, receiving second team All Bay Valley Conference honors his sophomore year on the field of play. He also earned his associates degree in arts off of the field that same year. After his two years at the JC level he earned a Division One baseball scholarship to play at Centenary College (’97-’98) in Shreveport, Louisiana. While receiving All-Louisiana Team honors his junior year he was a significant contributor his two years in the program, and off the field he earned a bachelor’s degree in English. After his senior year (summer of ’98) he was fortunate enough to sign a free agent contract with the Chicago Cubs organization where he played with their rookie ball team in Mesa, Arizona. Unfortunately his time there was short as he was released less than a month later.
Once he came home he decided to end his playing career and start full time with his coaching career. His first lesson client, Joe Wieland, has gone on to be drafted by the Texas Rangers organization in the fourth round of the 2008 draft and is currently in the big leagues with the San Diego Padres. Bret went on to build his lesson business and in 2003, with the help of Ken Camel, they started the Muckdogs Baseball Club. During the past eight years Bret has spent time as head coach of the 10U team and is currently the head coach of the 9U club. He serves as the assistant coach/ recruiting coordinator for the Muckdogs 19U summer team. His Muckdogs general manager duties keep him busy, and also serves as the president of Nevada Lightning Fastpitch, a traveling fastpitch softball organization that was established in 1990. He works hard on a daily basis with his instructors to prepare athletes for high school, college and beyond.
Ken Camel – Assistant General Manager/ Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 19U Head Coach/ Muckdogs 18U Black Head Coach
Ken started his high school baseball career at Ocean Springs High School (’89-’91) in Mississippi. When his parents moved to Hawaii he concluded his high school baseball career at Millani High School (’92). After graduating he went on to play a year at Central Arizona College (’94), where his team was ranked in the top 25 of the NJCAA rankings. After his time at CAC, he earned a solid financial aid package to play for Division Three powerhouse, Upper Iowa University (’95-’97), where Ken played under current Indiana State Head Coach Rick Heller. Ken’s team played for the NCAA Division Three National Championship his junior year. Off the field, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Marketing, graduating with double major.
Ken began his coaching career as a high school baseball coach in Minnesota as an assistant coach at Owatanna High School (’98). He went on to coach in Iowa as the Kennedy High School Feeder Program Head Coach (’99-’00). After taking a year off from coaching he led a group of 12U players from Iowa to AAU state championship, serving as their head coach for a year (’02). In 2004 he moved to Reno and started working out of our academy. He started up as a lesson instructor and also was one of the first head coaches in Muckdog history, taking the 14U head coaching position. Later that summer he took the reigns as the Muckdog 19U coach, helping build the program to what it is today. In 2006 he led the Muckdogs 14U team to a third place finish at the Winter Nationals in Surprise, Arizona. Currently he remains the 18U Connie Mack team manager (formerly the Muckdogs 19U Joe Dimaggio team, leading the club in the summer of 2010 to it’s first Joe DiMaggio World Series title). He is also the 18U Black Muckdogs fall/winter team coach as well as the assistant general manager of the Muckdogs organization. You can find him at the facility most every day working with his students and talking to college coaches trying to promote our athletes to the next level.
Kourtney Davis- Private Fastpitch Pitching Instructor
Kourtney played high school softball at Galena High School (’96-’99), winning three high school state championships. She earned a Division One Softball Scholarship to Oklahoma University (’00). In 2001 she transferred to Cal Berkeley where she concluded her softball career.
Kourtney derives a lot of her pitching philosophy from Don Sarno, the former USA Olympic Pitching Coach. She has taught softball pitchers for over a decade and continues to be one of the top fastpitch instructors in Northern Nevada. She works extremely hard in developing top notch varsity pitchers and college pitchers.
Jim Wolfe - Private Baseball Instructor/ Private Fastpitch Hitting Instructor
Jim Wolfe has been a coach at the youth levels for over a decade. He has served as one of Washoe Little League’s All-Star coaches where as an assistant hitting and pitching coach he assisted in leading Washoe Little League to a 10 and 11 year old Little League State Championship in 2005 and 2006. Jim also has a background in coaching travel baseball where again as an assistant coach, hitting and pitching instructor assisted his teams to a 2004 third place in the Super Series United States National Championships and with a win over South Texas in 2005 won a Super Series United States National Championship.
In 2008 Jim assisted Muckdog coach Brent Johnson as his general manager and assistant to lead our 13U AAA Muckdog Team to a number one finish in the USSSA end of year power rankings out of approximately 1100 teams throughout the United States. Over the past four years, Jim has also assisted the Damonte Ranch High School Softball team as a hitting assistant when time allowed while his twin daughters played on the varsity team during their 4 years there. During this time Damonte Ranch made the district playoffs all four years and culminated last year in a runner-up finish in the Northern 4A High School Zone playoff to eventual champion Spanish Springs High School . His son Patrick, currently a sophomore at Damonte Ranch High School, is one of the better players in his age group in Northern Nevada. A lot of the reason for the success of his children in fastpitch softball and baseball is due to the knowledge and dedication that Jim brings to our academy. Jim specializes in working with hitters, although he does work with his students on all areas of the game. Jim resides in Reno with his wife Julie, his daughters Caitlin and Mackenzie, and his son Patrick.
Brody Massman- Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 18U Red Head Coach
Brody played high school baseball at Reed High School (’99-’02). After graduating he went on to play California Community College Baseball at Feather River College (’03-’05) under current St. Mary’s Head Coach Jed Soto and current Delta College Coach Reed Peters. Brody earned a Division One Scholarship to play baseball at San Jose State University (’06-’07) under coaching legend Sam Piraro.
He began his coaching career in 2007, serving as the Muckdogs 14U coach. He has been with the staff ever since and currently serves as the Muckdogs 18U Red Head Coach and Muckdogs 9U Assistant Coach. Brody also helps out with camps and clinics and also does work with players in private lessons. He specializes in catching and hitting.
Phil Diaz - Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 10U Head Coach
Phil played high school baseball at Galena High School (’02-’05) where he played under Gary McNamara, current coach at Damonte Ranch High School. After graduating he went on to play California Community College Baseball at Lassen College (’06-’07, ’09). Phil spent three seasons as a Muckdog 19U player where he learned “the Muckdog way” under 19U manager Ken Camel.
In the summer of 2009 Phil began his coaching career as the Muckdogs 11U assistant coach. He took over the following season as the 10U head coach (’10), where he remains in that position today. Phil helps out with camps and clinics and also does private lessons with kids to build their skills. He specializes in catching instruction, but also works with hitters, fielders and pitchers.
Justin Norvick- Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 9U Assistant Coach
Justin played high school baseball at Galena High School (’03-’06) where he played under Gary McNamara, current coach at Damonte Ranch High School. After graduating he red-shirted, and then went on to play California Community College Baseball at Cabrillo College (’08-’09) under former major leaguer Andy Messersmith. Justin spent three years playing on the Muckdogs 19U club, where he holds a majority of the offensive lifetime statistical records.
After completing his playing career Justin went to work at the academy giving lessons and helping out with clinics and camps. He became the head coach of the Muckdogs 12U team in 2009 and held that position through July 2011. He now serves as the Muckdogs 9U assistant coach. He is in the process of obtaining an engineering degree at University of Nevada, Reno.
Mike Grant- Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 12U Head Coach
Mike played high school baseball at McQueen High School (’99-’02) under recently retired coach Brian Nelson. After graduating he went on to play California Community College Baseball at Yuba College (’04-’05).
Mike began his coaching career as the McQueen High School Junior Varsity Assistant Coach (’09). He currently serves as the North Valleys High School Head Junior Varsity Head Coach (’10). He took over the Muckdogs 11U Head Coaching position in the fall of 2010 where he serves at that position currently. Mike helps out with clinics and camps during the summer and winter months and also serves as a private lesson instructor. He will be promoted to 12U head coach in the fall of 2011.
Matt Renfree- Muckdogs 15U Head Coach
Matt played high school baseball at Placer High School (’00-’03). He earned a Division One Baseball scholarship to play at the University of Nevada (’04-’07). After completing his collegiate career he was drafted in the 24th round of the 2007 draft by the Seattle Mariners Organization and spend three years playing professional baseball for them.
In 2010 Matt started his coaching career, serving as an assistant for the Muckdogs 11U team. He works at our camps and clinics and also does private instruction with players. Matt specializes in pitching. He spent the 2011-2012 season as the Muckdogs 11U head coach. In the fall of 2012 he will take over as the Muckdogs 15U head coach.
Jim Henderson- Muckdogs 18U Red Assistant Coach
Jim played varsity baseball at Fernley High School (’91-’92) under Coach Jaime Huckaby. Jim was a three sport athlete at Fernley High and earned All-State honors in football.
Jim began his coaching career in 2001 when he began coaching his son Gavin at the youth level, and he has been coaching baseball every year since then.
Since 2001 Jim has served as a coach for the High Desert Little League, where he has served as both a regular season coach and all-star coach. He served as the Muckdogs 11U assistant (’08) for one year. Jim began his high school coaching career at Fernley High School (’09) as an assistant on the JV staff. He was promoted to an assistant on the Fernley High School Varsity staff in 2010, a position he still holds today.
Jim held the position of Muckdogs 12U assistant coach in 2011-2012. In the 2011-2012 season he served as the Muckdogs 13U head coach. Jim will be the assistant coach for the Muckdogs 16U coach in the fall of 2012. Gavin, Jim’s son, has been involved with the Muckdogs organization since he was ten and is currenly playing on the 15U team. Jim resides in Fernely with his wife Amy, his daughters Bailey, Maddison, and Grace and his sons Gavin and Ryan.
Matt Rutledge- Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 11U Head Coach
Matt played high school baseball at Carson High School (’06-’09). He then went on to play baseball Division One basebll at University of Nevada (’10-’11).
While on the field Matt was a very solid player, but what made him great was his ability to understand the game at a very high level.
This is why we anticipate him being an outstanding coach in our organization. He has helped out at our camps and clinics over the past year and in August of 2011 he took the position of the Muckdogs 11U assistant coach. In the fall of 2012 Matt will serve as the Muckdogs 11U head coach.
John Hudson- Muckdogs 18U Black Assistant Coach
John played high school baseball in Sacramento at McClatchy High School (’96-’97) and Kennedy High School (’98-’99). He was part of the Manhart American Legion program through the age of nineteen as a player.
John was selected to represent the United States on a team that traveled to Australia in 2000, where he was teammates with current big leaguer Dustin Pedroia.
John started his coaching career a year after ending his playing career due to injury. He was an assistant coach for the Manhart Legion program (’02-’05). He also served as the head coach for the McClatchy High freshman team (’05).
After a move to the Northern Nevada area John was hired to serve as the Muckdogs 13U assistant coach (’09). Later that fall he accepted the job as the Muckdogs 16U head coach, which is a position he currently holds today.
Robbie Wickware - Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 17U Head Coach/ Muckdogs 13U Head Coach
Robbie played high school baseball at Churchill County High School (’96-’99). He went on to play at at Cerro Coso Community College (’00-’02) where he was named team captain his sophomore year. He then transfered to a four year NAIA school, Saint Mary’s University in Leavenworth, Kansas where he played for tow years (’03-’04).
In 2005 he started his coaching career, serving as an assistant varsity coach at Churchill County High School (’05-’07). He was then promoted to the head varsity coach at Churchill County High School (’08-’10). Robbie also coached summer baseball for four seasons, serving as the Fallon Blackjacks 18U head coach (’07-’10), where he led them to a Joe Dimaggio World Series appearance. Robbie currently helps out with the winter, spring and summer baseball camps at our academy. Robbie currently resides in Fallon, Nevada with his wife Sarah Wickware.
Anthony Rosa - Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 14U Head Coach
Anthony played high school baseball at Damonte Ranch High (’07-’10) under Jon Polson, one of the top high school coaches in Northern Nevada. Anthony still holds many school records at Damonte, also earning All State honors twice. He earned a Division One baseball scholarship to play at University of Nevada (’11-’12). Anthony started as a freshman the first quarter of the season before being injured, and injury he couldn’t overcome even after sitting out the rest of that season and the following season.
Anthony has served as an assistant coach on the Muckdogs 19U club the past two summers, working with hitters and outfielders. In the fall of 2012 he will take over as the head coach of the Muckdogs 14U team.
Justin Sortino- Muckdogs 16U Head Coach
Justin played high school baseball at Spanish Springs High (’01-’04). After graduating from high school Justin went on to play at Northeastern Junior College (’06-’07) in Sterling, Colorado.
Justin started his coaching career at Sparks High serving as the assistant JV coach/pitching coach (’08′-’10). He was promoted to head JV coach (’11-present) where he has spent the last two seasons developing younger players in the Sparks High program. During the summer months, he serves as the head coach and GM of the Sparks Trojans summer baseball program.
Justin comes on board the Muckdogs staff as an assistant for the Muckdogs Black team where he will serve as pitching coach, help with coaching catchers, as well as coach first base.
Erik Underwood- Private Baseball Instructor
Erik played at Galena High School (’05-’08) where he was a first team All League outfielder (’08). After graduating from Galena he went on to play at Yuba College (’09-’10) where he earned First Team All Conference honors both of his years in the program. Erik earned a Division One baseball scholarship to play at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville (’11-’12), Alabama. Erik earned second team All Ohio Valley Conference honors his junior year. Erik will earn his degree in the fall of 2012.
Erik begins his coaching career as the Muckdogs 14U assistant coach, after having played in the Muckdogs organziation since he was twelve years old.
Scott Underwood- Private Baseball Instructor
Scott played at Galena High School (’05-’08) where he was a first team All League outfielder (’08). After graduating from Galena he went on to play at Yuba College (’09-’10) where he earned second team All Bay Valley Conference honors (’10) finishing tenth in the state of California in batting average. His sophomore year hear was Honorable Mention All BVC. Scott earned a Division One baseball scholarship to play at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. Scott was a significant contributor to the program on the field in his two years (’11-’12) and is finishing up his degree in the fall of 2012.
Scott comes onto the Muckdog coaching staff after starting his travel ball career as a player as a Muckdog. Scott will be the Muckdogs 11U assistant coach working with hitters and outfielders.
Matt Mannens- Muckdogs 11U Assistant Coach
Matt Mannens is entering his senior year at Spanish Springs High and is a current member of the Muckdogs 18U Connie Mack summer team as well as the Muckdogs Red Fall/Winter club. As a junior in high school he was a first team All-League performer and participated in the Jr. All-Star game this past summer. Matt served as a middle infielder, closer and leadoff batter for the Muckdogs 18U Connie Mack club in the summer of 2012 and is getting looked at by many Division One shools currently.
Matt will serve as the Muckdogs 11U assistant coach, working with infielders and hitters.
Brian Barnett- Muckdogs 15U Assistant Coach
Brian attended McQueen High School (’03-’06) where he was an all-state performer both his junior and senior year, being names 4A state player of the year his senior year. He went on to play at Western Nevada College (’07-’08) under head coach D.J. Whittimore where he still is in the WNC record books in several offensive categories, being named an All Conference player both his freshman and sophomore years. He earned a Division One baseball scholarship to play at University of Nevada (’09-’10) where he was a second team All-WAC player his junior and senior year.
Brian starts his coaching career in the Muckdogs organization as the Muckdogs 15U assistant coach in the fall of 2012. He will work with infielders and hitters, along with coaching first base.
Will Leek- Muckdogs 13U Assistant Coach
Willie attended Hug High School (’83-’85) where he was an all conference player. He played for the Reno Knights summer program (’84-’85). After graduating from high school Willie went on to play at Fresno City College (’86-’87), which was one of the premiere junior college programs in California.
Willie began his coaching career as a coach in the Clovis Babe Ruth League in Clovis, CA (’87-’90). He also served as the league’s all star coach each summer. After taking some time off from coaching to start a family he started coaching again in 2007, as a little league coach at Reno American Little League (’07-’12). He has coached three all-star teams during this time period. Willie also served as an assistant on the North Valleys High Summer Team (’10) and coached travel ball teams for the Reno Hurricanes (’10-’12). Willie starts his Muckdog coaching career as the Muckdogs 13U assistant coach, where he will primarily work with hitters and infielders, as well as coach first base.
Mickey Jannis- Muckdogs 12U Assistant Coach
Mickey attended high school locally at Spanish Springs HS (’03-’05), where he was a member of the 2005 Zone Champions and first SSHS to go to the State Championships in Las Vegas. He moved his senior season and graduated from Arroyo Grande High School on the Central Coast of California. From there, he went on to play one season at Cosumnes River College (’06) in Sacramento. He then transferred to Allan Hancock College (’07) in Santa Maria, California for his sophomore season where he became a member of the Junior College All-American team and was named Closer of the year for the State of California. After his sophomore season he earned a Division One scholarship to the California State University of Bakersfield (’08-’09), where he was a member of the program’s inaugural season. Following his senior season, he was drafted in the 44th round by the Tampa Bay Rays (’09), where he has played for two seasons and has reached the level of High A, Charlotte Stone Crabs team in the Florida State League. He still continues to play and is currently playing for the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier Baseball League in Avon, Ohio.
Following his first season of professional baseball, Mickey was able to go back to Bakersfield to finish up his education and graduated with a bachelor’s a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Sports Management. During the 2011, high school season he served as the pitching coach for North Valleys High School. Mickey will serve as the Muckdogs 12U assistant coach (’13), where he will be working with pitchers.
Mike Jenkins- Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 14U Assistant Coach
Mike attended Redondo High School in Southern California (’83). After graduating from high school he went on to play at Harbor J.C. (’84) playing on their state championship team and was coached by legendary coach Jim O’Brien. Mike’s dad is in the California Coaches Hall of Fame as one of the winningest coaches in Southern California high school history.
Mike began his coaching career as the Frosh/Soph head coach at Redondo High (’85). He then became the varsity pitching coach at Redondo High (’86-’88). Mike served as the West Torrance High varsity pitching coach (’92-’99), coaching two separate teams that were ranked number one in the country and one point in their respective seasons.
After moving up to Northern Nevada, Mike served as the Muckdogs 14U assistant coach (’10-current). Mike works with the pitchers and coaches first base. He also serves as a private pitching instructor at the academy.
Beau Walker- Private Baseball Instructor/ Muckdogs 13U Assistant Coach
Beau started his high school career at Wooster High school in Nevada (’99-’02). While at Wooster he earned all-league honors as a first basemen and catcher. He was named MVP of the JV team in 2000 and the varsity team in 2002. During his senior year Beau helped lead the Colts to the school’s first ever state championship. Beau went on to play at Cerro Coso in Ridgecrest, CA for Dick Adams (’03-05’). After playing, Beau returned to the University of Nevada and received his degree in History (’09).
Beau began his coaching career by working with the 12U Muckdogs’ teams (’05-’06). That same season he was hired as the Head JV coach at Wooster High School where he served for four years (’05-’08). In 2009, Beau wanted to make the jump to coaching varsity baseball, and was given a chance to coach the catchers and out fielders at Wooster High School (’09-’10). In 2009, Beau helped lead the Colts to their first playoff appearance in four years. In the fall of 2010 the head varsity job at North Valleys High School opened, and Beau jumped at the opportunity to run his own program (’11-’12). In his second season Beau moved five of his six seniors on to play college baseball.
Beau is currently a teacher at North Valleys High School. He is married to Nina Walker, also a teacher, and they have one daughter named Lucy. He is working on his master’s degree from Adams State University in Alamosa, CO. He is studying athletic administration with an emphasis in coaching.