JOE DEMARCO: President & Chief Operations Officer
DeMarco started Elite Baseball in 2003. Prior to opening Elite Baseball, Joe was an assistant Coach at UCI from 2001-2003 where his responsibilities included; Roaming coach, assisted with offense, defense, pitchers and base running. He assisted in recruiting efforts, assisted in coaching efforts in practice and games, organized camp and served as head counselor at UCI Baseball School. Before coming to UCI DeMarco coached for two seasons at his Alma Mater, the University of Kansas. He was in charge of Infielders and Base Running. As a professional DeMarco Spent two seasons in the San Diego Padres organization as a member of the Peoria Padres and the Idaho Falls Braves. As a collegiate he had a standout career: Four-year letter winner, Smith Super Team Candidate, Big 12 Batting Title (.429), 1997 Mizuno All American, 1997 Team Captain and MVP, 1997 1st Team All-Big 12 Shortstop, 1996 1st Team All-Big 8 Shortstop, 1995 National Baseball Congress All-American. DeMarco oversees all Elite Baseball teams and Private instruction at Elite Baseball. DeMarco graduated with a degree in Communication Studies with an Emphasis in Business from Kansas University in May of 1997. Joe is also currently a hitting consultant to numerous MLB & MiLB players.
DUSTIN KELLY: Hitting Coordinator
Dustin “DK”Kelly joined the Elite Baseball staff in 2011. His role is too over see the hitting instruction and development of the advanced hitters that train with Elite. From 2007-2010 he was an Assistant Coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His experience and expertise in hitting, infield, and outfield helped the Mustangs reach their first ever Division 1 Regional in 2009. Dustin attended high school at St. Joseph in Santa Maria, CA where he was a 3 time All Los Padres League Shortstop. In 2002, he led the St. Joseph Knights to the 2002 Division X CIF-SS Championship and was named CIF-SS Division X Player of the Year. After graduating high school, Dustin attended Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo and helped the Cougars win back-to-back Western State Conference Championships. In 2003, he was selected to the All Western State Conference Team. In 2004, Dustin was named Western State Conference Player of the Year. Shortly after, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 15th Round of the 2004 MLB Draft. Dustin spent 3 seasons with the Red Sox reaching AA and was a member of the 2006 Eastern League Championship Team. Dustin is currently in Player Development with the Los Angeles Dodgers as an infield and hitting instructor.
BRIAN BASS: Pitching & Performance Instructor
Bass joined Elite in 2018 after coming off a professional career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Brian is the Elite Pitching Coordinator and assists with all levels of developmental teams and pitchers at Santa Ana. Brian focuses on creating throwing programs and arm care packages specifically tailored to each athlete. Well versed in deciphering Rapsodo and Motus data, Brian is able to take the guess work out and specifically help players validate their feel with real time analysis during throwing and bullpen sessions. As far as experience, Brian has played baseball at every level, he attended Aliso Niguel High School before attending Orange Coast College. After 2 years at Junior College he received a full scholarship to attend NAIA powerhouse Faulkner university before signing his professional contract in 2015 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has trained up at Driveline in Seattle and brings a wealth of knowledge to our staff. He is currently the Pitching coordinator at Aliso Niguel High school.
CLAY WILLIAMSON: Assistant Hitting Coordinator
Clay joined Elite in 2016 after being a student of the program for the last eight years. He will assist at the Elite hitting sessions at UCI and Santa Ana. As a prep he was a standout at JSerra high school, a 3x All Trinity League selection. Earned a baseball scholarship to Cal State Fullerton where he excelled as an outfielder for the Titans. An All Big West selection he was selected in the 19th round of the MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals. Clay spent two years with the Nationals organization
AUSTIN DIEMER: Assistant Hitting Coordinator
Diemer joined Elite in 2017, he assists with all levels of hitters at UCI and Santa Ana. As a prep player Austin was a stand out at Rocklin high school, a 3x All Sierra League selection. Player collegiate baseball at Cal State Fullerton where he was an All Big West performer. Drafted by the Minnesota Twins, Austin spent three seasons in the Twins organization.
GEORGE THANOPOULAS: Pitching & Performance Instructor
George joined the Elite staff in 2018 after a professional career with the Colorado Rockies. After his playing career, he went in and served as an international envoy coach for MLB in China. While working at the prospect development centers in China, he was in charge of arm care, weight training, and mental skills programming. Before getting drafted in 2016, he played college baseball at Columbia University where he was a part of three Ivy League Championship teams, one being the winningest in school history. George also spent a year as the varsity pitching coach at Redlands East Valley High School where he lead the pitching staff to the lowest team ERA in school history,as well as, a conference championship. George is well versed in all aspects of the game, from training protocols to mental skills training. He is currently the Pitching coordinator at Mater Dei High school.
COLTON PLAIA: Catching Coordinator & Player Development Staff
Colton joined the Elite staff in 2019. He was a standout catcher at JSerra Catholic High School and was a two time All Trinity League selection. In 2009, helped the Lions to their first-ever Trinity League title. After finishing his time at JSerra, Colton began his time at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. During his tenure at LMU, Colton was twice selected to the All West Coast Conference First Team. During the 2012 season, he led the team in hitting and threw out 42% of base stealers. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 33rd round of the 2012 amateur draft but chose to return to LMU for his senior season. He joined the USA Collegiate National Team that summer helped the team to a bronze medal in the Honkbal Tournament against countries from around the world in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After being named to Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list, he finished his collegiate career leading the team in hitting, throwing out 42% of base stealers, and being named WCC Defensive Player of the year. He received his degree in Liberal Arts and was then selected in the 15th round of the draft by the New York Mets. He has played 6 seasons in the Mets organization 2013-19 with the last two seasons at the AAA level.
MITCH HOLLAND: Assistant Hitting & Catching Coordinator
Mitch Holland started with Elite in 2017 and Holland re-joined Elite in the summer of 2019 after getting hired as the catching and outfield coach at UC Irvine. Mitch will be assisting the hitting sessions at UCI, as well as running catching clinics for Elite. Holland played infield at Saddleback College for two years and then transferred to play at UC Irvine where he was a two time All-Big West selection. After graduating, Mitch stayed on staff at UCI as a graduate assistant coach and earned his Master’s in Business Administration. While he was a grad assistant, Mitch started working for Elite, doing hitting instruction in the cages. Mitch was later hired as an Economics teacher and assistant baseball coach at JSerra High School. Then moved on to be the hitting and infield coach at Saddleback College in the spring of 2019.