Tri-State Elite Academy | Instructors

The Tri-State Elite Academy staff instructors are hand-picked for their knowledge of baseball and softball, and their ability to communicate it to our young players. Our coaches have had college and/or professional experience and, more importantly, they have been intensely trained in our state of the art major league baseball and softball techniques.

Tri-State Elite staffers exhibit high energy, a positive attitude, and are passionate about the games of baseball and softball. We are responsive to our clients' needs and committed to helping each player achieve their baseball/softball objectives and goals.

Where the serious player work out with the pros!

Milt Thompson
Milt Thompson

Title: Hitting instructor

Hometown: Washington Township, NJ

High school: Magruder (Rockville, Md.)

College: Howard University

Professional experience: Played in the major leagues with the Braves, Phillies, Cardinals, Astros, Dodgers and Rockies between 1984-1996.

Coaching experience: Currently, Milt is the Kansas City Royals minor league roving baserunning and outfield coach.  He has served as a minor league coach/coordinator for Tampa Bay, Phillies and Astros and was hitting coach for 2008 World Series champion Phillies.

Area of expertise: Hitting

Accolades: Taken in second round of 1979 draft by Atlanta … Made MLB debut on Sept. 4, 1984 for Braves … Played on Phillies’ 1993 World Series team against Toronto in which he batted .313 with six RBIs – including five in Game 4 … Posted .274 career batting average with 47 home runs and 357 RBIs

Fondest memory as a player: Playing in the 1993 World Series with the Phillies and winning the 2008 World Series championship as the Phillies hitting coach

Favorite player growing up: Being a big Baltimore Orioles fan, he loved guys like Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Mark Belanger, Boog Powell. “I loved the whole crew.”

Biggest role model growing up: His parents. “They raised me and helped me to respect people and earn respect. You can’t worry about what others think of you. You are who you are. You have goals and dreams to reach, so don’t let others dictate how you go about that. Fight and make it happen.”

Teaching philosophy: Just to have fun and relax. The talent is there. You just have to be able to trust yourself. That’s the difference between being a good athlete and not – trusting your ability. Let your natural ability take over.

Bob Shannon


Title: Baseball Instructor

Hometown: Bellmawr, NJ

High school: Paul VI

College: La Salle University

Professional experience: Two seasons in Montreal Expos organization as a pitcher … Player-coach three seasons in Holland

Coaching experience: Former pitching coach at Audubon High School

Area of expertise: Hitting, pitching, infield

Accolades: Member of 1979 Brooklawn American Legion state championship team … Was an All-State shortstop as a senior at Paul VI … Selected by Oakland in 12th round of 1980 draft out of high school … Signed as a free agent by Montreal Expos and played two seasons in organization as a pitcher … Served as a baseball ambassador in Eastern Europe (Holland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Russia) in 1990.

Fondest memory as a player: Signing his first pro contract after pitching Delran Diamonds to a victory in the Rancocas Valley League ... Also pitching in European Championships for Holland against Italy.

Favorite player growing up: Mike Schmidt

Biggest role model growing up: Mike Schmidt and Larry Bowa.

Teaching philosophy: Make it as fun as you can while teaching so they’ll want to work hard on their own. They have to enjoy it.

Melissa "Bessy" Schomber


Title: Softball Instructor

Hometown: Woodstown, NJ

High school: Woodstown

College: Gloucester County College, Rutgers-Camden University

Coaching experience: Pitching coach at Rutgers-Camden (2000-2001), pitching/outfield coach at Gloucester County College (2003-2005), Current Pitching coach for Rowan University

Area of expertise: Pitching

Accolades: Back-to-back team MVP while at Rutgers-Camden … Got ball rolling as first softball instructor to offer lessons at TSE Academy

Fondest memory as a player: In a high school game, she was faced with a full count on the cleanup hitter with bases loaded in the seventh inning. “I looked at my dad and he nodded his head. I threw a change-up, the batter swung, missed and fell down. We won the game. It was so exciting.”

Favorite player growing up: Lisa Fernandez

Biggest role models growing up: Her parents

Teaching philosophy: Practice with a purpose and play with passion.

Kyle Hald

Kyle Hald

Title: Pitching Instructor

Hometown: Springfield, VA

High School: South County Secondary School

College: Old Dominion University

Professional Experience: Drafted in 18th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Currenty plays for the Palm Beach Cardinals in the high A Florida State League.

Area of Expertise: Pitching

Accolades: 2007 named High School Player of the Year in VA by the Home Plate Club. In college named All-CAA, 2nd team ABCA All Region, CAA Co-Pitcher of the Year. Lead CAA two consecutive years in strikeouts, lead CAA with a 10.24 strikeouts per game. 

Fondest memory as a player: His first career win in college which was against the #1 ranked University of North Carolina.

Favortie player growing up:  Frank Thomas

Biggest role model growing up:  His Dad.

Teaching philosophy:  Keep it simple. Work hard, work smart, and practice like you play.

Billy McCarthy



Title: Baseball Instructor

Hometown: Washington Township

High school: Washington Township

College: Radford University, Rutgers University

Professional experience: Spent parts of seven seasons in Atlanta Braves organization, advancing as far as Triple-A Richmond of International League … Also played part of 2007 season with Kansas City affiliate in Pacific Coast League … Minor League career average of .274 with 124 doubles, 15 triple, 55 home runs and 302 RBIs

Coaching experience: Baseball University Showcase event

Area of expertise: Hitting, outfield

Accolades: All-South Jersey player at Washington Township … Taken by the Atlanta Braves in the sixth round of 2001 draft out of Rutgers … In 2001, named NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball second team All-American and ABCA third team All-American … Led Big East Conference in hitting (.421) as a junior and was a first team all-conference pick.

Fondest memory as a player: Having the chance to meet Hank Aaron prior to a spring training game and being able bounce things off him one-on-one. It was a chance to talk baseball and about life.

Favorite player growing up: Mike Schmidt

Biggest role model growing up: My father. “He was always about doing things the right way. He put his head down and was a leader by example. Hard work really does pay off in the end.”

Teaching philosophy: Being able to get kids to repeat their swing consistently and do it with confidence. I want to build their confidence and prove that they are a good hitter.

Steve Costa

Title: Baseball Instructor

Hometown: Washington Township, NJ

High school: Washington Township

Coaching experience: Washington Township travel program

Area of expertise: Fielding (Also brings knowledge of game through experience as an umpire)

Accolades: An All-Group 4 selection as an outfielder as a high school senior … Played on three championship teams in Tri-County Men’s League

Fondest memory as a player: Winning his first championship in 1998 in the Tri-County Men’s League

Favorite player growing up: Jose Canseco

Biggest role model growing up: Jose Canseco. “I just loved his power, speed and all-around baseball. Who knew then how he’d turn out?

Teaching philosophy: It has to be fun. That’s the biggest thing. You have to work hard. I tell the kids all the time that games are not won on game day. Games are won in practice. You have to put the work in.

Dan Barbara


Title: General Manager - Director of Baseball Operations

Hometown: Washington Township, NJ

High school: Washington Township

College: Old Dominion University

Professional experience: Philadelphia Phillies (1995)

Coaching experience: Camden County College (1993-1995) … Tri-County Men’s League … Washington Township Babe Ruth … Nearly 20 years at all levels

Area of expertise: Hitting

Accolades: Coached Washington Township 14-year-olds to third place in 2006 Babe Ruth World Series … Washington Township High School Sports Hall of Fame (2008) … Played on seven championships teams and was a three-time Triple Crown winner in Tri-County Men’s League.

Fondest memory as a player: As a replacement player for the Phillies, he hit home runs from both sides of the plate in a game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Favorite player growing up: Dave Parker

Biggest role model growing up: His father. “He coached me in everything I did. He made me the man I am today."

Teaching philosophy: It’s pretty simple – work hard. Hard work pays off in everything you do and that’s what I tell the kids.

Justin Callahan

Title: Baseball Instructor

Hometown: Turnersville, NJ

High School: 1990-92' Wash. Twp. (NJ), 1993-94' Gloucester Catholic (NJ) , 1994 Piedmont (NC)

College: 1994-95' UNC Charlotte (NC), 1999 Gloucester County College (NJ)

Professional Experience: 2000 Aberdeen Arsenal  (Atlantic League) Independent (MD)

Coaching Experience: 2000 p\t Pitching Coach Wash. Twp. American Legion, 2004-08' WTPR Intramural 2007 9u League Champions, 2008 Wash. Twp. Nationals 10U Travel/District team, 2009 Assistant Coach Wash. Twp. Soph. American Legion  2009 State Champions, Fall 2013 SJ Titans 2013 SATB Harvest Moon Tournament Champions.

Private & Group instruction/Team training: 1993-94' / 1999-01' The Hit Dr. Baseball Camps (CH), 2004-10' The Hit Dr. Baseball Academy (TWP), 2011-13' Sportz Central, 2010 & 2013-present Tri-State Elite Academy.1999-present Independent Private Instruction.

Areas of expertise: All areas including, but not limited to...hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and base running.

Accolades: State Championship Gloucester Catholic 1993, National Championship Gloucester County College 1999, 5 Tri-County Men's League Championships between 1998-2005, 2001 All-Star, 3 time Championship game MVP, Signed to 3 different professional contracts by way of open tryouts. 2013 NJIBL 35+American Div. Championship, 2013 NJIBL All-Star.   

Fondest memory as a player: Being part of the 1999 Gloucester County College National Championship team. I hadn't played ball in close to four years and went out for the team on a bet with my brother. It was really gratifying to complete that goal. 

Favorite players growing up: Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden, and Daryl Strawberry.

Biggest role model growing up: My dad by far. He showed me how to love baseball and the approach to a handling success and failure within the game and in life. He and my mom always afforded me every opportunity to be successful on any path I chose.

Teaching Philosophy: "The Philosophy starts with my love for the game of baseball and having fun playing. I am fortunate to have been exposed to some great baseball people throughout my life and as far as I know, there is not an instructor alive who has invented a perfect way to play baseball on their own. Every instructor borrows their ideas, drills, and theories from somewhere. The best instructors continue to research and test those theories. I have, and continue to put serious time and work in trying to create the best information there is on playing this game. I will also continue to play baseball as long as I am physically capable and competitive. I believe staying involved as a player allows me to demonstrate and therefore communicate on a higher level with the player or players I'm working with.  I believe with correct instruction, good practice habits, and the right attitude, the game can be a whole lot of fun and will give players a better understanding of competition, teamwork and confidence in themselves. Essentially, the results are always up to the player and my question to the player is...How good do you want to be?"

Mickey Shaw

Title: Director of Softball Operations

Hometown: Washington Township, NJ

High school: Audubon

College: St. Francis (Pa.)

Coaching experience: Was head coach at Washington Township High School for 15 seasons

Area of expertise: Hitting

Accolades: Posted a 312-73 career record at Washington Township … Directed Minutemaids to three South Jersey Group 4 championships and nine Olympic Conference American Division crowns … A three-time recipient of South Jersey Coach of the Year by the Courier-Post

Fondest memory as a coach: Always putting competitive teams on the field.

Favorite player growing up: Mickey Mantle

Biggest role model growing up: My father. “He coached baseball in Audubon for years, taking the 13-15 year-olds kids and sending them on to high school.”

Teaching philosophy: "All kids are different and you can’t try to teach all kids the same thing. I try to take my style and work it to the ability of the kid.”

Roy Price

Title: Staff instructor

Hometown: Washington Township, NJ

High school: Washington Township

College: Camden County College, Rowan University

Coaching experience: Washington Township travel program (13U and 16U)

Area of expertise: Hitting, catching

Accolades: All-Group 4 as a senior at Washington Township … All-Region 19 at Camden County College in 1995 and 1996 … Selected as NJCAA Division II Player of the Year in 1996 … Two-year starting catcher at Rowan

Fondest memory as a player: Being part of Washington Township’s South Jersey Group 4 championship team as a senior

Favorite player growing up: Darren Daulton

Biggest role model growing up: His father. “He was a hard worker. Whatever we needed, he made sure we had.”

Teaching philosophy: I try to get the kids to relax, enjoy and have fun. You play much better when you’re relaxed. Younger kids need to enjoy the game.

Gary Barbara

Title: Baseball Instructor

Hometown: Washington Township, NJ

High school: Washington Township

College: Camden County College

Coaching experience: Washington Township Babe Ruth … TSE instructor since 2004

Area of expertise: Hitting, fielding

Accolades: All-Conference player at Washington Township … Played for six championship teams in Tri-County Men’s League … An All-Region 19 selection in 1995 while at Camden County College.

Fondest memory as a player: As a junior first baseman for Washington Township High School’s 1993 team, the Minutemen earned the Courier-Post Cup as the No. 1 team in South Jersey that season.

Favorite player growing up: Mike Schmidt

Biggest role model growing up: His brother, Dan, because of what he was able to accomplish in his baseball career.

Teaching philosophy: My thing with the kids is if they practice hard, they’ll play harder. You always want to give 100 percent on and off the field.




Proud sponsors of TSE Academy


"The Tri-State Elite Academy has helped with conditioning and strength in general. I had hoped that this could help me develop into a more dominant softball player and I think it has. "
- Laura Stagliano, University of Vermont

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