Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith

Elite Pitching Coach, PHD (Professional, Honorable, Dedicated)

Ernie helps elite overhead throwing athletes apply age-specific hyper-personalized training based upon current research, focused upon long-term player development and performance enhancement, with measurable results.  This includes educating parents and players to the injury risks and issues in our sport to help “flatten the curve” with regard to the current epidemic of Tommy John surgeries.

Graduating from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as the first student with a coaching minor in 1985, Ernie studied under the first full time sport psychologist ever hired by a major university.  While at UIUC, he obtained a varsity letter in baseball under head coach Tom Dedin, who later became a coach for Team USA and was an International Ambassador for baseball.  As an assistant coach for St. Francis University in Joliet, IL, Ernie was mentored over a 24-year span by the legendary coach Gordie Gillespie who was inducted into 14 coaching halls of fame in three different sports, and was the all-time victories leader among college baseball coaches until recently surpassed.  As a clinician, Ernie spoke along-side Coach Gillespie at least once per year and was introduced to such notables as Ted Williams and Frank Robinson.  Career highlights include graduating 100% of high school and collegiate players coached.  Players carried a 3.4 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, which is above the overall student body GPA.  He has coached upon 10 state championship teams, including eight at the collegiate level, one adult level, and one 18U travel.  Acting as a full-time assistant, every college team coached has been nationally ranked.  NAIA college world series appearances in 1988 (9th), 1991 (13th), and 1993 (9th).  Ernie has worked with five collegiate All-Americans, two academic All-Americans, ten All-District, and over thirty All-State players.  Most recently he completed the first ever Texas Baseball Ranch™ SFTI pitching coach’s program in December of 2021, working hands-on with MLB pitchers and catchers.

Ernie is very happily married for 20+ years to his wife Deb and they have three boys, all of whom played or play baseball, and two of whom are currently active in travel ball.

The Illinois Baseball Edge Team

The Illinois Baseball Edge, Ltd. (IBE) brings age specific hyper-personalized training to overhead throwing athletes to improve their performance, reduce injury risk, and educate families and coaches in how to train and prepare the mind and body for competition.

Jay Burke

Chief Data Officer and Scientist

Kathy Ceisel

Champion Sports Performance Specialist and Overhead Throwing Expert