Meet The Coaches
Greg Allen, Founder, College Liaison
Greg is the founder of Akadema Elite Softball Organization. Greg has been coaching softball and baseball since 2006. Greg formed the 501c3 IRS approved non-profit Ringwood Travel Baseball Association in 2010 and was responsible for taking the first team from Ringwood, New Jersey to DreamsPark in Cooperstown in 2011 to play in the National Tournament of Champions at the 12u level. Greg has also managed teams playing in local, regional, and national tournaments at the youth travel level and little league all-star manager for 4 consecutive years. Greg has managed several travel teams who have won multiple tournaments in both softball and baseball through-out the years. Greg is an organized dedicated and passionate coach who knows the sport of softball and baseball and more importantly, knows the value of life lessons to be taught to young athletes. Greg is certified by American Red Cross for first aid, CPR, and defibrillator use and has also received training for dealing with head concussion injuries in addition to receiving Rutgers S.A.F.E.T.Y. certification (Sports Awareness For Educating Today’s Youth).
In 2015 Greg purchased Be The Best Coaches’ Convention. Each year, Be the Best attracts approximately 2,000 attendees who are interested in honing the craft of coaching. Coaches representing age groups from Little League through college participate in the clinic that includes former pro baseball players and managers, decorated Olympian athletes, college and university coaches and other credible professionals from the worlds of baseball and softball. Guest speakers cover topics on everything from how to build a championship program and create a team culture to pitching mechanics and effective practice drills. After 42 years, Jack Hawkins sold what is now the longest-running baseball and softball clinic in the country, to Greg and Dan Allen of Bergen County. The entrepreneur brothers, who co-founded Bader Field Sports, LLC, recognized Be the Best to be the perfect lead-off in pursuing their dream of transforming Atlantic City into a world-class sports destination. Be the Best Baseball and Softball convention takes coaches to a whole new level! The 2018 Coaches convention will feature at least four (4) coaches from the 2017 Women’s College World Series.
Greg is also known for his academic and business achievements as well. At the age of 40 Greg returned to finish his undergraduate degree at Ramapo College and was the 2012 Graduating Class Valedictorian, where he delivered the Commencement Speech to over 12,000 guests in attendance. He finished his studies and was awarded Latin Honors of Magna Cum Laude. Aside from his time as a volunteer coach helping youth, Greg has been able to help many families and communities through his business, where he has developed in excess of 300 units of affordable housing for low income families, in addition to cleaning up many contaminated abandoned landfills through-out the State of New Jersey returning the land to productive ratables. Greg also volunteers his time for many area not for profit organizations.
Akadema Elite Fastpitch Softball Organization is excited to announce that Pitcher Maire Shaughnessay has joined the coaching staff. Maire is presently pitching for a professional softball team (Saints) in Sweden and will return to the United States at the end of the summer. Maire is a very accomplished 2013 College Graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, graduating with the highest grade point average among all female student athletes while being awarded the Community Service Award by the University. Maire obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in biology and minor in chemistry. Maire was also presented with the “Knight Award” for softball by the Fairleigh Dickinson University Athletic Department in May 2011.
High School Accomplishments:
Maire played four years of varsity basketball and softball and was named Delaney Conference Pitcher of the year in 2006, First-Team All-State in 2007, MVP of the Delaney Conference in 2007. In addition, Maire was named the Delaney Conference Pitcher and Player of the Year in 2008 and Division II State Player of the Year in 2008. Further, Maire was named Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and named to First-Team All-Conference and All-State in 2009. Other high school highlights include pitched in two state championship games, recording the win in both.
Maire played Division 1 softball all 4 years, playing in almost every game. During her time at FDU, Maire pitched, played 3rd base and 1st base. Maire was named second team all Northeast Conference utility player during the 2010-2011 season. Maire led her team in lowest ERA, highest fielding percentage, and contributed greatly to the offense as a reliable clutch hitter. While at FDU, Maire worked as a tutor for the student body for the sciences. Maire was also a member of SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee) for three years and served on the executive board the last two years, including president for 2012/2013. Maire has exemplified the model “Student/Athlete” and will serve as a tremendous role model for young Akadema Elite players that strive to be better and play at a higher level.
Maire is a certified EMT and volunteer at a local ambulance corp. in Bergen County and when she returns from Sweden will continue to be a tutor at FDU and will be an integral part of the Akadema Elite Fastpitch Softball Organization.
Meghan Beyer (18u Assistant Coach & 23u Elite Player)
Meghan Beyer first joined Elite in 2013 as a player on our first 18u Team during her sophomore year at North Arlington High School. Meghan was a starting 3rd baseman and was a big part of Elite’s foundation. After graduating from high school, Meghan was recruited to play softball at Drew University. Meghan is a rising sophomore at Drew where she is a starting 3rd baseman. Meghan is studying neurology. In 2017, Meghan re-joined Elite as an assistant coach under Maire Shaughnessy. Meghan is also a member of our 23u SUmmer Team.
Rachael Milbrook (16u HeadCoach & 23u Elite Player)
Rachael Milbrook first joined Akadema Elite in 2013 as a player on our 18u Team during her junior year at Hawthorne High School. Rachael was a four (4) year varsity starter on her high school team and also played Tennis. Rachael was an all-county, First Team All Conference Catcher during her playing time in High School. After her graduation in 2015, Rachael decided to focus on her academic path and enrolled at WIlliam Paterson University where she it majoring in Exercise Science and Sports Administration. Rachael re-joined Akadema Elite in 2016 and worked as an assistant coach under Maire Shaughnessy on the 16u team. In 2017 Rachael was made the head coach of the 16u Team. Having played the game at a very high level and being a young coach, the players relate to Rachael. She has a passion for teaching her players the right way to play the game.
Amanda Robinson (16u Assistant Coach & 23u Player/Manager)
Amanda Robinson joined Akadema Elite on our first ever 18u team back in 2013 when she was a sophomore at Wayne Valley High School. Amanda played every season with Elite until she graduated in 2016. During her time at Wayne Valley, Amanda was a stand-out catcher and helped contribute to the success of the Wayne Valley Softball program. While playing for Elite, Amanda was recruited to play in College. Amanda elected to attend Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, where she has seen action as a freshman. In 2017, Amanda has joined Elite this time as a coach. Amanda is the assistant coach on the 18u team and is also a player/manger for the 23u Summer team. Amanda brings tremendous work ethic to Elite and is a role model for the young players that are coming through the system.
Carlos Casillas (14u Head Coach)
Carlos Casillas has been coaching softball for over 10 years. Carlos is a detail oriented coach. Having been tutored under Coach Diego, Carlos has learned the importance of doing the little things right. Carlos began coaching with Elite in 2016. Carlos has a daughter (Gianna) that plays on the 18u Team.
Gabby Goodwin (14u Assistant Coach & 23u Player)
Gabby Goodwin has joined the ranks of the Elite coaching staff in summer of 2017. Gabby was an accomplished player at Wayne Valley High School where she was a four year varsity starting pitcher. Gabby was recruited to play softball at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania. Gabby is an assistant coach to Coach Carlos Casillas on our 14u Team and is playing on Elite 23u Team for the summer of 2017.
Diego Ibarra brings a wealth of coaching to Akadema Elite. He currently serves as the 18U Head Coach and is responsible for the overall development of players and coaches. For the past 10 years, Diego served as an Assistant Coach to Leon Matthews of the Teaneck Titans Baseball Organization a well established and nationally recognized program. Coach Matthews is credited to building the Don Bosco Baseball program to a #1 national ranking in 2008. Diego continues to be actively involved in the Titans winter conditioning program for athletes.
In 2010, he was brought on staff by Head Coach Anthony LaRezza at Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township. Diego was the head coach of the JV softball team at IHA. His role at IHA was to strengthen the program from the ground up, and develop players for the Varsity level. In addition to his coaching duties, he is responsible for marketing and highlighting the success of program. His efforts contributed to highest national ranking by a New Jersey school at #6 by the NFCA during 2014 season.
In 2017, Diego became a Volunteer Assistant Coach at Hofstra University in New York.
Diego has had the blessing and privilege to be mentored by two of the best coaches not only in New Jersey, but the entire country, Coach Matthews and the late Coach Anthony LaRezza. He is the only coach in the country to serve under Head Coaches whose HS programs ranked in the top 10 nationally, in both baseball and softball. With his unique experience, he is able to provide the structure and framework necessary to develop players and coaches at an elite level.
Diego is a 2008 graduate of Fairfield University majoring in Management and Marketing. Diego subscribes to the coaching philosophy that “hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard”. Diego’s core mission will be to develop athletes into competitors, focusing on the fundamental aspects of the game that translates to success at the higher levels. Member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).