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Instructors

Paul Kosinski

Strike Zone General Manager
Advanced Pitching/Advanced Hitting

 

A product of St. Patrick HS and Northern Illinois University, Coach Paul Kosinski enters his fifteenth year as an instructor at the "Zone". A disciple of the legendary pitching instructor Tom House, the former pitcher/centerfielder has established himself as one of the premier pitching instructors in the Chicago area. Dating back to 1992, Coach "K" has a lengthy history as both a high school and youth traveling baseball coach. He has the distinction of having served on the coaching staffs of three IHSA Coaching Hall of Fame Inductees - Kirby Smith at Barrington HS, Dan "Duck" Hogan at Notre Dame HS and Mike Napoleon at New Trier HS. He also serves as Head Coach for the New Trier Thunder and as Director of the New Trier fall ball program. During his six year coaching stint at Notre Dame HS, Coach "K" also ran the Renegades 13YO traveling team. While Coach "K" primarily works with junior high and high school pitchers and catchers, he is also available to work with pitchers and catchers age 10 and up. He currently has over twenty five former players palying at the collegiate level. Please e-mail Paul at pkosinski@thestrikezone.org if you are interested in taking lessons with him.

 

Joe Knudsen

Advanced Hitting / Pitching

In his fifteenth season with The Strike Zone, Joe is always one of our most preferred instructors. He is rapidly becoming one of the top hitting and pitching instructors in the area.  Joe is positive and knowledgeable in all phases of the game. Knudsen pitched at Northeastern Illinois University where his team qualified for the Division 1 World Series in 1996 before the school dropped athletics.  He then transferred to Wisconsin-Parkside where he worked under the tutelage of former major-leaguer and renowned coach Sal Bando Jr. His work as a coach with Niles West High School and his outstanding performance with various travel programs on the North Shore have earned him National recognition for coaching excellence. Joe is currently the assistant head baseball coach for Evanston High School and is available for students of all ages September through June. You can book lessons with Joe online at www.fasterlessons.com/scheduler/thestrikezone.view or you can e-mail info@thestrikezone.org to inquire about lessons with him.

 

Nathan Stillwell

Pitching /General Hitting

Another disciple of the legendary Tom House, Nathan earned all-area honors out of Naperville North High School before earning a spot in the Northern Illinois University rotation as a freshman. In four years as a starter he compiled a .667 winning percentage including an unbeaten season in 2003. Nathan believes that mechanical, physical and mental aspects of pitching must be in balance to produce consistent results. He is currently the head coach for the 12U NorthShore Waterdogs.  He is available for pitchers of all ages and is also a fine hitting instructor. He is available for lessons all year round. You can book lessons with Nathan online at www.fasterlessons.com/scheduler/thestrikezone.view or you can e-mail info@thestrikezone.org to inquire about lessons with him.

 

 

Justin Drexler

Advanced Hitting/Pitching/General Skills

Coach Justin Drexler enters his eighth year as an instructor at the Strike Zone.  He's been teaching baseball to kids on the North Shore for 7+ years and coached at Glenbrook South High School and is currently an Assistant Varsity Coach at North Shore Country Day High School under Coach Paul Kosinski. His dedication and commitment to fundamental and instruction is outstanding.  Justin is extremely positive and enthusiastic.  He was the coach for the 9U Waterdogs tournament team. He has been the head coach for 10U-13U for Evanston's Feeder Program.  He is now available Monday - Sunday for instruction.  Ages - 6 and up.  You can book lessons with Justin online at www.fasterlessons.com/scheduler/thestrikezone.view or you can e-mail jdcoach84@gmail.com to inquire about lessons with him.

 

Brian Edwards

Baseball and Softball Hitting / General Skills

Beginning his sixth year of coaching hitting at The Strike Zone, Brian gathers his coaching experience from both his softball and baseball past. Brian is a Glenbrook North High School alumni where he was a member of the 1974 state championship baseball team and the 1975 state championship football team. He attended Carroll College where he was a four year starter on the basball team.  He also played four years of football earning a total of 7 varsity letters. Over the past 30 years, Brian has coached youth football, travel baseball, and for the past 7 years, girls fastpitch softball. He is currently the head coach of the Illinois Chill 18U team.  You can book lessons with Brian online at www.fasterlessons.com/scheduler/thestrikezone.view or you can e-mail info@thestrikezone.org to inquire about lessons with him.

 

 

Brandon Vamarasi

Hitting/General Skills

Brandon is an Evanston native going into his sixth calendar year coaching youth baseball. A graduate of Evanston Township, he studied English and Philosophy at Lawrence University while also competing at the Division III level. A majority of Brandon’s playing career was spent on the infield, but he also played outfield and catcher at Lawrence. He is a head coach for EBSA during the summer and has transitioned into personalized skill training at The Strike Zone. 

Beyond baseball, Brandon’s most valuable skill is his ability to interact positively with youth. A former AmeriCorps member and after-school program leader, his desire to promote learning as well as fun have been a constant. 

You can book lessons with Brandon online at www.fasterlessons.com/scheduler/thestrikezone.view or you can e-mail info@thestrikezone.org to inquire about lessons with him.

 

Richie Foreman

Hitting/General Skills


Richie is from Evanston where he played baseball for Evanston Township. He continued his playing career at Lawrence University where he played outfield for all four years. He has coached youth baseball since 2009. He coached ETHS Freshman in 2014. He was the Varsity head coach at Rickover Naval Academy in 2016.

Outside of baseball Richie is the PE Teacher, Athletic Director, and School Counselor at Pope John School in Evanston.

 

You can book lessons with Richie online at www.fasterlessons.com/scheduler/thestrikezone.view or you can e-mail info@thestrikezone.org to inquire about lessons with him.

 

 

 

Eddie Torres
Hitting/General Skills
My name is Eddie Torres. I’m from the Northwest side of Chicago. I have been coaching youth baseball since 2012. I attended Taft High school where I played varsity baseball and basketball all four years. I went on to play baseball and basketball at the College of Lake County. Then transferred to Harper College to continue my education and baseball career. Currently I am in a EMT apprentice program and playing professional baseball in the Pacific Association. 
 
You can book lessons with Eddie online at www.fasterlessons.com/scheduler/thestrikezone.view or you can e-mail info@thestrikezone.org to inquire about lessons with him.

Dustin DeMars

.Advanced Hitting/Catchers/General Skill
Dustin DeMars has been coaching baseball and doing lessons for the last 8 years, 5 of which have come in the Chicagoland area. Owner and operator of Top Dog Baseball, working with College Players looking to transfer or get professional looks. Dustin played one year of college baseball at Broome Community College in NY then went to play in the Dominican Prospect League. Dustin last played in 2017 for Freseros De San Quinten in the Mexican League. Dustin works with all positions. Primarily focusing on infielders, catchers and hitting. You can book lessons with Dustin online at www.fasterlessons.com/scheduler/thestrikezone.view or you can e-mail info@thestrikezone.org to inquire about lessons with him.

 

 

 

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