Lead Instructor and Youth Coordinator
Travis Thompson has succeeded across all levels of the game and is in his 3rd year coaching at PTA. He is one of our lead instructors and youth coordinator.
Travis spent two seasons playing with Madison Area Technical College (MATC). In his first year, he helped his team win two national tournament games and led them to their first-ever national championship. He also earned recognition for his outstanding pitching with honors such as National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series All-Tournament team in his first season and All-Conference, All-State, All-Region and All-American honors in his second season.
In 1996, Thompson went on to be drafted in the 12th round by the Colorado Rockies, where he played for the next eight seasons. After playing in the Rockies minor league system for another four years, he signed a free-agent contract with the Florida Marlins. During this time, Travis was also selected to play for Team USA in the 2005 Pan Am Games in Mexico.
Lead Instructor and High School Coordinator
With 15 award-winning years on the field and eight years of coaching experience, Mike Thrun brings his expertise and love of baseball to Prospect Training Academy for a 3rd season. Mike started his baseball journey at Franklin High School, then moved through the ranks at UW-Stevens Point, Thunder Bay Border Cats and West Allis Nighthawks (Land O’ Lakes).
Throughout his career, he earned three WIAC Conference Tournament Championship titles, a Regional Championship title, trips to the 2006 and 2007 World Series, UWSP’s record for most strikeouts in a game and First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-Midwest-Region in 2008.
Mike has coached a range of athletes: from 9U, 11U and 14U teams to athletes at Franklin High School and UW-Stevens Point. Now, he’s become an integral part of our team. In 2015, Mike started as an instructor and baseball coach for our 14U team before becoming PTA’s High School Coordinator.
Sal Bando Jr.
Salvatore Bando Jr. will serve as our Hitting Coordinator. Sal has 19 years of experience as a head coach at various levels, from high school through college.
Sal was the head coach at UW-Parkside for four years, where he transformed an under performing program into a nationally- ranked program in 2000. From there, he coached Division 1 High Point University for seven years, while recruiting and developing eight draft picks. He was also voted Big South Conference Coach of the Year in 2006. Most recently, Sal served as the head coach at Marquette University High School, where he was named the Greater Metro Conference Coach of the Year in 2014. Sal will continue to serve as head coach at Marquette University High School.
On the field, Sal attended the University of Arizona on scholarship out of high school. From there he went on to play for Oklahoma State and his college career included multiple conference championships, a 1993 College World Series appearance and Big Eight All-Conference honors.
Anthony is joining PTA this year as a program coordinator and will be hands on in instructing our players with hitting and fielding. Anthony has over 10 years of coaching experience, during which he has coached 22 players who went on to play professional baseball. Anthony’s athletic career started in Jamestown, New York. As a shortstop, he was named an All-Conference player and voted one of Jamestown’s Top 50 Athletes.
From 2007 to 2012, he led the Jayhawks to 207 victories and a 101- 62 regional record. He coached 33 All-Conference athletes, 15 All- Region athletes, and one All-American athlete. He was also named National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 3 Coach of the Year while at the helm of the Jayhawks. Anthony then went on to be an assistant coach at Division 1 Cal State - Bakersfield.
For the past four seasons, Anthony has coached the Jamestown Jammers in the Perfect Game Prospect League. There, he earned coach of the year honors in 2017 and 2018 and won over 129 during that time span. He also coached the Jammers to the 2018 Perfect Game Prospect League Championship.
Hitting Instructor and Coach
Troy Bittenbender was born and raised in Crystal Lake, Ill. Bittenbender spent seven years playing for the Crystal Lake Cardinals. He was also named All-Conference and won helped lead his team to regional and sectional championships in his senior year of high school.
In college, Bittenbender was a four-year starter for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, with a career batting average of over .300. He played outfield at one of the toughest Division II conferences in the country. During his senior year, he lead the team in runs, hits, triples, home runs and RBIs.
In May 2018, Bittenbender graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. Overall, he has five years of experience in coaching, hitting and fielding with his home town club as well as other select travel ball programs.
Catching Instructor and Coach
Adam Coleman is back for his second year of coaching with Prospect Training Academy. Hailing from Missouri, Adam Coleman was named 4x All-District, 3x All-State and 4x All-Conference Catcher during high school. At Indian Hills Community College he was named First-Team All-Region, and he went on to become the catcher at Missouri Valley College. He spent two years as a catching and hitting instructor at Ozzie Smith’s Sports Academy in St. Louis, Mo., before joining Prospect Training Academy.
Instructor and Youth Coach
This will be Adam’s fourth year with PTA. During his time with us, Adam has coached several teams ranging from 9U to 14U. Adam is great with the players and focuses on building confidence and staying positive, particularly with our younger players. Adam will be coaching our 9U team this coming season as well as serving as one of our off-season instructors.