Originally created 01/25/02

Louisville coach to head USA Baseball's national team



LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville head coach Lelo Prado was chosen Thursday as coach of the USA Baseball national team.

Prado, a former Division II coach of the year, will guide the collegiate team for 30 games this summer, including the World Baseball Championships in Italy in August.

USA Baseball selects a new coach each year.

A native of Cuba, Prado said it would mean "everything in the world" to beat the Cuban national team and win a gold medal in Italy.

"This is a lifelong dream," said Prado, who is preparing for his seventh season at Louisville. He coached the team to a 32-29 record last season.

At Division II Tampa, Prado posted a 278-124-1 record in seven seasons. There he coached players like St. Louis Cardinals and former New York Yankees slugger Tino Martinez and won national championships in 1992 and 1993.

Prado was picked as the American Baseball Coaches Association Division II National Coach of the Year for 1992-93.

Prado will choose a staff and then in June select the USA national team from 40 of the country's top freshmen and sophomore.