Meet our Baseball & Softball Instructors

A boston red sox baseball coach is talking to the camera.

Luke Darrah

Founding Partner

Coach Luke Darrah has been playing and coaching Fastpitch Softball for fifty years. He has spent over 30 years coaching High School Softball in the Summit/Portage County area. He led Archbishop Hoban to a state title in 1991. He has won 3 Coach of the Year honors. In 1997, Coach Darrah took an All-Star High School team from the USA to Europe to play a series of games in Holland, Germany, and Belgium. He has coached and trained many athletes who have gone on to have outstanding college softball careers.

Coach Darrah also spent 35 years playing Men’s Fastpitch Softball, participating in 14 ASA National Tournaments as a pitcher during his playing days. He was an ASA All-American in 1994 and was inducted into the Summit County Softball Hall of Fame in 2005. Coach Darrah is currently the Head Softball Coach at Kent Roosevelt High School.

Mike Darrah

Founding Partner

Mike Darrah has enjoyed an outstanding career at Division II West Liberty State University in West Virginia. A graduate of Rootstown High School, Mike has also played professional baseball for the Slippery Rock Sliders, the Utica Brewmasters, and the Washington Wild Things. While at West Liberty, Mike was a four-year starter and a three-year All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference performer. He led the Hilltoppers in batting average, hits, and runs batted in his senior year. He played numerous positions in college, including posting a 10-1 pitching record in his final season. He was also a three-year letter winner in football at West Liberty, where he played safety and quarterback.

Mike Darrah in a red baseball coaching jersey.
Trevor Pesicek wearing a baseball cap and coaching jersey.

Trevor Pesicek

Instructor & Coach

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Daniel Caruso

Instructor & Coach

Baseball has been a passion for Dan as far back as he can remember. He played from early childhood through High School and then on the club team in college. He was primarily a catcher but also played both infield and outfield. He is an avid fan of the New York Mets. He also has been involved in training and coaching for the last twenty years as he has raised his children, both of whom are now playing on scholarship at their respective Universities – his daughter is a softball player at Thomas More University, and his son is a baseball player at Taylor University. He has served as a coach with many of the local youth baseball organizations. He has also gone through the recruiting process with his children, so he has an understanding of that system as well.

Dan enjoys sharing all of the baseball knowledge he has gained with a focus on fundamentals and lots and lots of repetition.

A man wearing glasses and a hat.
A silhouette of a baseball player wearing a cap.

Justin Nelson

Instructor & Coach

Justin Nelson returns to the academy with years of experience both playing and coaching. Justin was a three-year letter winner at Kent Roosevelt High School. He was a two-time position player of the year for the Rough Riders. He spent one season playing collegiately at Tiffin University. Coach Nelly, as he’s known around the academy, began his coaching career working with the Titans out of the academy. He was an instructor at Darrah’s All-Star Academy for two years while in college. He also spent two full summers working with the Cleveland Indians Youth Baseball program as a coach. Justin has spent the last 9 years playing in the Roy Hobbs wood bat league. He is a three-time Greater Akron AA All-Star while being named an MVP and Hitter of the Year Finalist in 2022 and 2023.

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