Coaches Spotlight

by Darryl Reid

Ryan McBride is the President of the Toronto Mets Baseball Program and the Toronto Mets Performance Centre. McBride also took on the responsibility of leading the 18u program for the 2020-2021 season. “Coach McBride’s impact on the Mets has been shown to help take players to the next level of baseball. Preparing them both physically and mentally. McBride has been a college athlete before and shares his stories to help inspire and give valuable information to the Mets program,” says Mitch Bratt who is a Florida State commit.

The Toronto Mets have made a major move off the field this year, moving from Out of the Park Sports in Scarborough to the Toronto Mets Performance Centre in Richmond Hill. McBride is thrilled with the prospect of what the new Performance Centre will do for the Mets program. “TMPC is a great training facility for our players. It is clearly a big upgrade from our previous home. Rich Leitch deserves the bulk of the credit for how well it turned out. Our players and families deserve a first-class facility like this.”

McBride’s Collegiate career began at Shoals College in Alabama before moving on to St. Clair College in Michigan and finally finishing at Salem International University in West Virginia where he studied History. McBride is very grateful to his coaches who gave him the opportunity to play college baseball. “Mark Lee, gave me my first opportunity to play, and has had a major impact on my coaching career,” says McBride, he goes on to say, “Sam Dempster is someone who prepared me in high school for college baseball, and is a major influence in my baseball life.” Dempster, who is in the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame, was a major contributor to the development of high school and college baseball in Ontario.

“Ryan has led the evolution of our program since the two of us came on board back in 2010. By clearly understanding where the landscape of baseball was heading in Ontario and clearly understanding what the needs of our players and families are, he has helped establish the Toronto Mets into the program that we are today,” says Toronto Mets VP and Director of Baseball Operations, Rich Leitch.

Under McBride’s leadership, the Toronto Mets have established themselves into one of the best baseball programs in the Country. He has been named to Bob Elliott’s Top 100 most influential people in Canadian Baseball six times and has helped develop so many talented players who went on to play college and professional baseball. McBride states,” watching our Mets players move on to their next level and still wanting to remain part of the process helping younger Mets realize their goals is something I value in this program. They come into the program at such a young age and grow up before our eyes, moving on to their next phase of life, we are very proud of our Alumni.” One of the many features in the Toronto Mets Program is the Fall College Trip. McBride feels this is such a great opportunity for the current Mets to play against college players in front of college coaches. “I love the college trip we take; it is such a good time to reunite with our Alumni and provide opportunities for our current players.”

The Toronto Mets continue to move forward as a program. McBride has put together one of the best coaching staffs in the Province and covers all aspects of developing the complete Student-Athlete.

For the last 12 seasons Rich Leitch has been a fixture with the Toronto Mets. Beginning as an assistant coach with Ryan McBride and the 18u Toronto Mets, Leitch has seen the growth of the Mets from a 16u and 18u program to now having seven teams from 14u-18u. Ryan McBride, President of the Toronto Mets, feels very fortunate to have Leitch on the staff. “Rich is an extremely knowledgeable and passionate baseball coach. He is a dedicated hard worker who constantly looks for ways to push our program forward and make us better. We are lucky to have him.”

The Toronto Mets named Rich the Director of Baseball Operations and Vice President to go along with being the catching and hitting coordinator of the program. “He challenges everybody in our program”, says GM Darryl Reid. “He holds our coaches and players accountable and continues to push our program in the right direction. While he can be tough on our players at times, there is nobody who cares more about helping young athletes reach their goals then Leitch.”

In his 12 years with the Mets Leitch has great memories of all the players he has had the opportunity to coach. “So many great moments over the past 12 years, winning the NABF in 2011 was certainly a big moment. That being said, our 2019 grads were a special group. Being with them for 3 years and seeing them grow into the players and people they are today has been a great experience.”

Leitch’s experience extends well beyond the city of Toronto. Rich attended Lake Michigan College before transferring to Salem University and graduating with a degree in Education. Leitch went on to be an assistant coach for Salem in 1996 before being named head coach in 2001. It is there where he met Brad Warnimont, who would have a major impact on Leitch’s coaching career. “Other than my father Don Leitch who coached for years when I was a kid. Brad Warnimont has been the biggest coaching influence in my life. He gave me my first job in baseball well over 20 years ago and I still use many of the things he taught me to this day.” Leitch went on to be an assistant coach with Davis and Elkins College before moving permanently back to Canada.

The 2020-2021 season began with a brand-new home for the Toronto Mets. Leitch, who had a major role in the constructing of the new facility is excited to move in and begin coaching again. “With our move to the Toronto Mets Performance Centre, this is an exciting time for the Mets and with the personnel we have in place It is an exciting time to be a Toronto Met.”

Leitch will be guiding our very talented 2022 class for the 2021 season, a season we are all looking forward to getting started.

Frank Maury (@TMetsINFIELD) will be entering his fourth season with the Toronto Mets. Maury, a teacher for Twenty-five years, a NCCP Learning facilitator / evaluator and one of the best infield instructors around. “Frank has been an integral part of instilling modern techniques and technologies into our program. He is a huge asset for us with the Toronto Mets,” says Rich Leitch, Director of Baseball Operations for the Toronto Mets. 

Frank is an active learner, and has the ability to communicate that information to our staff and players. “Just watching one of his infield practices, shows the attention to detail, and how well he prepares for each session,” comments GM Darryl Reid, “you can’t help but feel motivated to learn.” 

Frank is the Director of Player Development, Infield and baserunning coordinator for the program, as well as one of the head coaches of our 16u program. 

Maury has enjoyed success in the short four years he has been coaching with the Toronto Mets. On the field, some highlights include, finalist at the AABC Mickey Mantle World Series in 2017. A 17u Cincy Flames TOC championship in 2018. WInning the CPBL CHampionship in 2018. All great accomplishments for Maury, but his favourite time is working with 50 plus Toronto Mets infielders during the off-season development, something he is hoping to get back to very soon. Maury also has experience teaching at the ABCA Barnstormers, and attending the annual ABCA Conventions representing the Toronto Mets. 

Frank is excited to lead a group of 16u players for what we hope will be a great summer of baseball. Frank is also the host of @TMetsINFIELD, a great follow to check out on twitter.

“Glenny J is the man, one of the hardest working coaches I have ever had and one of my absolute favourites,” says Toronto Mets Alumni Matt Hilderbrandt. The Limestone University Senior goes on to say, “Glenny is the ultimate player coach. You can talk to him about anything on your mind and he will help you. He has taught me so much about hitting and the mental side of the game. Without him, I would not be the hitter or person I am today.”

Glenny has influenced many athletes that have been a part of the Mets program and continues to empower the current crop of Toronto Mets today. Not surprising, Jackson is appreciative of the many who have influenced his coaching career. Hank Clarke, Ernie Lewington, Pat Visca, Ricky Lee, Rick Johnstone, Hung Cho, Andy Stewart, Angus Roy, Hugh Walters, Neal Mattes, Tom Adams, Andrew Peart, Darryl Reider, Chris Kemlo, Mike Ellison Andrew Green, Pete Angelow, Rich Leitch, Frank Maury, Mike Warren, Jay Sirianni, Brad Holland, Ryan Mcbride, Kent Duncan, Brian Gaw, Jim Hutton and Paul Rebelo.

Glenn Jackson brings energy with everything that he does. Tee work, BP, warmups, it is  even tiring watching him coach a game, as he walks the dugout sharing his knowledge and ideas with the players. What fuels him? “Getting a chance everyday to make a difference with the kid’s life is a true honour.  The relationship & process factor plays a big role in what I get out of coaching.  It starts with a young man making the decision to invest in himself/working together to reach that goal, then you get a chance to put it to work in game/make changes, then when it is all said and done you get to see them go off to school and further themselves from that moment on and grow into the person they have worked so hard to be.  Nothing like seeing and being a mentor beyond the field and seeing these gentlemen grow into young men after the game is done and as it continues for those lucky enough on a professional level.”

Baseball and life is all about opportunity, and what you do with the opportunities that are given to you. “I Really Enjoy getting a chance to be around so many great coaches with the Mets year after year the Past 7 seasons.  It has allowed me to grow in so many ways  as a coach and as a person.  The Mets have allowed me an opportunity to not only get my family in a better place but a foundation to grow as a coach since I was 31.  That will never be forgotten by me and I am personally motivated to be one of the best coaches for them both on and off the field.  Every coach in our organization makes it feel like family and that is important to me due to the investment needed.  I am Thankful to play the role I make and continue being a “Legend” as a coach to these great kids and families I get to interact with.”

Considered one of the best coaches around, it is not surprising to learn about Jackson’s success as a player. “I was lucky enough to attend Barton County Community College for two years in the Jayhawk Conference and then proceed to finish my education at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in the Sun Belt conference.  I Hold the single season records for triples in a season with 10 and stolen bases with 40, First team all conference both seasons OF and Freshman of year in conference while at Barton.  Honorable mention all conference Junior Year at ULM. 

After school was complete, Glenny was not ready to give up playing yet. He went on to enjoy a historic career in the Intercounty Baseball League. “ I Finished my Career playing in the IBL with the Guelph Royals, Barrie Baycats and Toronto Maple Leafs.  Won 5 Championships and was named to the IBL Top 100 players of all-time.  

Off the field, Jackson, the father of three (Tammy 17, Yiesella 7 and Jeter 5) works  for the Toronto Blue Jays on the Sales & Service team.  He gets a chance to represent over 500 great season ticket holders and make sure they have the best experience possible with the Jays season after season. “Everything is a sale” a quote by Rob Cornelius who I met in Oregon at Game Face Training for Sales” explained Jackson about one of his favourite quotes. He goes on to say, “what Rob said has stuck with me as every moment in life is a sale of you or the person you are.  I am not perfect so it always keeps me on my toes to be at my best and take that deep breath and keep doing the best I can as every moment counts & as they say, you never know.”

Jackson’s message to his players and himself is simple. “No Excuses” from Coach Mike Warren at Barton County still inspires Jackson today. “No excuses has stuck with me as I have no excuses.  I will always be accountable, honest and put my best foot forward.  Can’t lie to yourself, so you might as well bare down and do whatever it takes to reach your goal.”

Glenny will be guiding one of the very talented 16u teams as we all look forward to the spring of 2021. 

Duncan Watt is one of the best young coaches and instructors around and the Toronto Mets are thrilled that he is on their coaching staff. The Pickering native, enjoyed a very successful Collegiate career that began at Muscatine Community College and ended at Westminster College where he was a PAC honorable mention.

Watt, a media art and design graduate will enter his fifth season with the Toronto Mets and couldn’t be happier to be leading the next group of 15u players. “I enjoy being able to give back to the game” says the Mets 15u coach. “Training and mentoring young baseball players of all skill level beats any one moment or accomplishment.” 

Duncan has made his mark on the local baseball community as well, instructing all level of baseball players. “Duncan is one of the best instructors around,” says Director of Baseball Operations Rich Leitch. “He connects well with young athletes and has the ability teach them in a way they can understand to perform on the field.” 

Early in his coaching career, Watt has not taken any of his early success for granted. “We are all constantly learning in this game and the moment we stop learning we stop growing as coaches and players.” Watt goes on to say, “being able to influence players is the most rewarding feeling.”

The Toronto Mets have one of the most experienced and knowledgeable coaching staffs around, so it comes as no surprise Duncan pays attention to his coworkers. “All of the coaches I work with are my mentors, being able to learn from guys that have been doing this for a long time is only going to benefit me. Everybody has a different style and picking the brains of all the coaches just gives me extra knowledge to continue to grow.”

After a very successful playing career that was highlighted by a tryout with the Baltimore Orioles in front of Lefty Bagg, 15u Head Coach Hugh Walters decided it was time to give back to the game that has given him so much. The beneficiaries? Hundreds of baseball players in Ontario who have had the opportunity to learn under the energetic coach. Like the many baseball dads before him, Walters was thrilled to watch his three sons grow up playing baseball. All three boys found success in the game and received baseball scholarships to the United States. The recently retired teacher is proud of many accomplishments and championship in a 20 plus year coaching career. Even with all the championships, Walters is quick to mention it is the relationships he has built with his players is the measure of his success. “Being with and working alongside young men that I coached, that now I work alongside is one of my favourite accomplishments.” The Toronto Mets as an organization has benefited since he walked in the facility in 2016. “He has had a major impact on the players in our program. He has the rare ability to keep his players accountable, while creating a great atmosphere for his players to learn and play in. They love to play for him.”

Hugh is very proud to have been a part of the Academy Baseball School in Durham Region for 24 years, mentoring many successful baseball players and people along the way. Coach Walters is somebody with great character, so it is not surprising to learn he has had great people who have influenced him both on and off the field. Brian Osborne is the person who taught him the importance of being a good person on and off the field. Ronnie Blackmore taught him all the nuances of the game that he continues to use today. Jim Gregory is the person who saw something in a young Hugh Walters. “He tutored me and fathered my development as a baseball learner.” Jim is also the person who took Hugh to school at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

After leading many of the 2021 and 2022 grads over the last three seasons, Hugh will be leading a new group of 15u players for the 2021 season.

The Toronto Mets 14u team will be under the leadership of Peter Angelow. Angelow will begin his 8th year as a Toronto Mets coach and has been a staple in the organization coaching at every level the Premier club offers. “His passion and preparation is second to none,” says Toronto Mets GM Darryl Reid. Angelow has been coaching for 35 plus years in Ontario and has guided some of the best players this Province has to offer. Angelow has been recognized for his service south of the border as well being inducted into the Oklahoma Junior Sunbelt Coaches hall of fame in 2012. Angelow will also serve as the Toronto Mets outfield coordinator, a position he has held for the last seven years. We are looking forward to the 2021 season and watching the 14u players develop under Angelow’s guidance.