Chris Cummings AAU USA International Collegiate Summer Team head coach
Press Release | Jan. 13, 2018
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—After getting AAU Baseball Chair Ed Skovron’s approval to launch the AAU USA International Collegiate Team, manager Mike Graham said he wants to bring the expertise and standards—excellence and stability—that have marked the teams that coaching colleague Chris Cummings and he have led together the past 20 years.
No surprise Graham’s first task was to contact Cummings. “Congratulations,” he said, “you’re now head coach of the AAU USA International Collegiate Team.”
“We are thrilled to have Coach Cummings leading our staff on the field,” Graham said. “He is a fantastic coach, and the entire AAU Baseball community benefits from having Chris representing it internationally.
“The secret of the uncommon success we’ve had together is we’re always on the same page—we make sure of that. In elite athletics, you can’t lose focus, there can be no distractions—on or off the field. Not everyone is wired to operate like that or even gets it, but Chris does. He understands the big pitcture is our North Star guiding and we’ll talk about everything else when the dust settles.
“But the big thing is our expectation—it’s there regardless of where we’re coaching or the colors we’re wearing. What we’ve done as coaching partners over the decades is build on that legacy of expectation. We see our coaching responsibility is to maintain the highest standards, and that’s how we roll. Expectation is always there.”
This is Chris Cummings’ 9th season as an Amateur Athletic Union of the United States (AAU) coach. Cummings, 55, became the 1st coach in AAU USA International Collegiate Team history on November 19, 2017, after gaining experience coaching on the international stage.
He served the previous two summers as head coach of the Sant Boi Barcelona Falcons representing Spain in the international collegiate summer baseball league the Collegiate Baseball League Europe (CBLE). The CBLE is affiliated with the NORTHWOODS LEAGUE, one of America's premier summer collegiate baseball leagues comprising teams of top college players from the Midwestern United States and Canada. Cummings ranks first all-time as both the winningest coach in CBLE history and with a single franchise (.709).
“Chris has had an extraordinary career in AAU representing internationally and on the coaching staff of the Maryland RBI advanced skills development team since 2009—career AAU coaching record 367-217, .628; numerous regional, state and district championships; played for a national championship.
“After 20 years coaching together, probably the only person who knows Chris better than me is his wonderful wife, Denise, and his outstanding family. A few things particularly stand out for me. One is the importance for him in the advancement of quality young men in our program. That is No. 1 for him; it’s not about our championships, the travel, facilities, or the resources we have to work with. It’s about how we are able to help advance that.”
Cummings coached Barcelona to its third consecutive CBLE regular season championship in 2017, marking the only streak in CBLE history in which a team has won the regular season championship in consecutive seasons. In addition, the Falcons set league and franchise records for wins in two straight seasons (2016: 11, 2017: 10), joining the La Rochelle Admirals (France) (2016-17) as the first ever to win a total of 21 or more games in consecutive seasons.
Barcelona in the last two seasons also recorded the third- (.719) and fourth-best (.700) all-time winning percentages, tying the mark for the most wins (11) in a season in league and franchise history and second-most all-time wins (21) in franchise history.
Cummings earned his 21st CBLE win and all-time career coaching victory No. 400 on July 26, 2017, against the Antwerp Cavaliers (Belgium), becoming the third coach in CBLE history to earn 20 CBLE wins. He ranks third among CBLE head coaches behind only Canada Junior National Team coach Rob Ushy (La Rochelle, 2015-17: 27) and Sweden National Team coach Tony Klarberg (Barcelona, 2012-14: 22) in all-time wins. Cummings posted a 21-8-2 record in 31 games with Sant Boi Barcelona, and has a 400-228-22 (.633) career coaching record in 650 games as a coach at all levels.
Under his leadership, the Falcons were annually the CBLE's most disciplined team, ranking first in fewest errors committed and pitching ERA two straight seasons. In 2017, Cummings earned the first of his back-to-back selections to serve as head coach of the CBLE All-Star team in 2016-17. Cummings coached the CBLE All-Stars to a 9-4 win against the French National Team in La Rochelle, France, in 2017.
In his first season as Barcelona head coach, Cummings coached the Falcons to an 11-4-1 (.719) record, reaching the 10-win mark for the second time in team history. In addition to surpassing their win total from 2015 (10), Cummings coached the Falcons to the CBLE Western Division pennant in Great Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands and to the CBLE Championship Game for the franchise’s fifth consecutive title game appearance.
In his second season as head coach, Cummings coached the Falcons to a 10-4-1 (.700) record, reaching the 10-win mark for the third time in team history. He coached the Falcons to the CBLE regular season pennant in Spain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands and to the CBLE Championship Series semi-finals, falling one game short of the franchise’s sixth consecutive berth in the CBLE Championship Game.
Prior to joining and concurrent with coaching the Falcons, Cummings spent eight years on the coaching staff of Maryland RBI, the AAU’s primary advanced skills development affiliate and travel-select team in Maryland. He was named head coach of Maryland RBI in 2014 after five years as an assistant coach.
He coached the team to three Maryland AAU finals appearances and two state championships during the next four years. In 2017, Cummings coached Maryland RBI to the Maryland AAU state championship and a Mid-Atlantic Wood Bat League-best undefeated 18-0 record and was honored with selection as Maryland AAU Coach of the Year for the second time.
Cummings began his coaching career in 1999 as a Little League coach. He served 10 years (1999-2007) before joining the Chesapeake Legends travel-select team as an assistant coach (2008-09). In December 2009, Cummings helped establish Maryland RBI as an assistant coach, and in September 2014 became the team's head coach.
A native of Staten Island, NY, Cummings played college basketball and baseball as a pitcher/outfielder for Eisenhower College and the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1980-84, while earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He earned a master’s degree in management at The Johns Hopkins University. He is married to Denise Cummings and the couple have two sons, Jake and CJ, and a daughter, Carly. Jake and Carly played college lacrosse at Piedmont College/East Carolina University and Manhattan College respectively, while CJ plays intercollegiate club baseball at the University of Mary Washington.
Cummings is the all-time winningest head coach in the history of both the CBLE and Maryland AAU baseball.
About the Team
The AAU USA International Collegiate Team is a premier international collegiate summer team followed by college coaches and pro scouts. The roster includes players ages 18-23 representing all college divisions. The experience offers high-level baseball and cultural exposure to the world at the same time.
For more information about the AAU USA International Collegiate Team, visit: https://aauusaict.wixsite.com/aauusabaseball, http://www.playaaubaseball.com/aau-usa-international.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan and follow AAU USA International Collegiate Team baseball on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AAUGlobal and Twitter at: https://twitter.com/AAUGlobal.
The AAU USA International Collegiate Team is recruiting for summer 2018. Apply to play at https://aauusaict.wixsite.com/aauusabaseball.