Coaches

 

Head Coach – Bucks AA – Sean Potkay

 

Update: Potkay takes over as the Head Coach, entering the off-season in preparation of the 2022 season. Details to follow.

Coach Sean Potkay returns in 2021 for this fourth year in the Bucks program as a “AA” assistant. His focus is primarily hitters and corner infielders. Coach Potkay was a member of the Bucks program from 2004-2008.

During his Junior year, the Bucks made their memorable run to the 2007 state championship–the first in the program’s history—where he played first base and batted cleanup. In fact, he calls it one of the two highlights of his playing career, along with hitting two home runs with five RBI in his first game at Tulane University versus Wichita State, with his parents and grandmother in attendance.

Following his career with the Bucks, Coach Potkay moved on to the University of Oregon where he was a member of the Ducks first baseball team in 27 years. He spent two seasons there before transferring to Western Nevada College where he helped the Wildcats post a 45-15 record in 2011. From 2012 to 2013 he played first base at Tulane University, appearing in 104 games as a first baseman and cleanup hitter. He graduated from Tulane in 2013 with a degree in History.

Coach Schultz on Potkay: “Coach Potkay has a huge impact on our offensive success. I couldn’t be more excited to have him on our staff again working with the boys. He has a deep understanding of hitting and has competed and won at every level of baseball he has played. Additionally, he is a great example of what you can accomplish as a Buck and beyond, through hard work and dedication.”

Sean lives in Bozeman and works at Simkins-Hallin, which provides building materials to fuel Bozeman’s growth.

Head Coach – Bucks A – Jeff Gyselman

Coach Gyselman returns for his 6th season with the Bucks, where he will work with catchers and lead the “A” Team. Born in Seattle, Coach Gyselman grew up playing both baseball and basketball. After high school, he played for Bellevue Community College and Portland State University before the Philadelphia Phillies drafted him in the 19th round. He played for four seasons of pro ball, working his way up to the AA Reading Phillies. Jeff earned his BA from Portland State and his Turf Grass Management degree from Penn State University.

Jeff’s coaching background is deep and varied. It includes: leading catching clinics in Seattle and Youth Day Camps for the Phillies. He has served as catching and pitching coach for boys baseball and girls softball teams at Teton High in Driggs, Idaho and has also coached with the Bozeman Blackhawks.

Schultz on Gysleman: “Coach Gyselman is a baseball junkie. He is so dedicated and willing to spend his time at the park. He supports our players in their pursuit to become better, and he is just a lot of fun to be around! Additionally, he brings a lot of knowledge from his days in pro ball. I look forward to spending the summer with Jeff again and know he will do a great job again with our players, especially our catchers.”

Jeff moved to Bozeman in 2012 with his wife Erika, and two sons, Alton and Nolan. His son Alton was an all-state catcher for the Bucks and is currently playing at Yavapia Community College, a perennial baseball power house. He is currently the Golf Course Superintendent at Black Bull Golf Club.

Assistant Coach – Bucks A – Sam Schmidt

New to coaching, Schmidt intends to leverage fifteen years of playing experience (five of them with the Bucks) into a successful coaching career under the mentorship of the current Buck’s championship staff.  “I hope to pass along all that I have learned through my own experiences and what I have learned from other coaches and players.

Schmidt’s playing days with the Bucks included back-to-back state championships under the Schultz regime.  “I am looking forward to passing on to younger players, what I’ve learned in recent years from other coaches.”

A multiple sport athlete, Sam is an avid golfer and currently works for the Black Bull’s Golf Course maintenance crew. 

Head Coach – Bucks B – Dan Purpura

Coach Purpura returns to the staff in 2021, after leading highly successful campaigns with both the “A” and “B” Teams in 2018 – 2020. This season, Coach Purpura will lead the Bucks “B” team, where his strength as an instructor of baseball fundamentals is essential for the program’s younger players. Dan also spends time developing our infielders, program-wide.

Dan has previous coaching stints as an assistant in 2004-05 and 2015-16. He brings with him an extensive background in baseball as a both a coach and player. Besides working with the Bucks since 2015, Dan has coached the Bozeman Blackhawks travel team and the Concord HS Ducks in New Hampshire.

“Coaching allows me to develop relationships with players and families. I like being on the field with the players, watching them develop as players and teammates. I’ve met many interesting people and have made great friends through my association with the program.” 

His playing experience includes Thornton Community College and University of Illinois-Chicago, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance in 1979. He went on to play infield professionally in the Padres, Orioles, and Brewers organizations, making it as high as AAA.

“Dan is well-known in our local baseball community and has particular expertise in catching and throwing the baseball properly. He does a great job developing players and is an asset to our program” said Coach Schultz.

Coach Purpura lives in Bozeman with his wife. “Anne and I love the Montana outdoors where we can spend time with our dogs hiking and skiing”. Their son, Andy, was an All-Conference player in the Bozeman legion program and currently plays for Centenary College in Louisiana.

Dan currently owns and operates Rising Starz Sports Academy, which is dedicated to the development of young athletes.

Assistant Coach – Bucks B – Jon Herz

Coach Herz officially joins the Bucks for the 2021 season, where he will support the “B” team and program infielders.

Baseball is in Jon’s blood. He grew up in a baseball town, Rapid City, SD, and fell in love with the game at an early age. He is a veteran of American Legion baseball, having played for the Post 22 Hardhats as a teen. Jon was a three-sport athlete during high school (football, basketball, Legion baseball). After graduating he continued with baseball and basketball at Des Moines Area Community College.

Since relocating to Bozeman in 2011, Jon has demonstrated his commitment to the community as a youth baseball coach and by serving on the board for Bozeman Baseball. He is also past Chairperson for the local Gallatin Valley YMCA. 

It wasn’t long before Jon’s passion for playing baseball evolved into coaching and mentoring kids, not only in game play, but leadership as well. At 22, he was already coaching baseball in his hometown. He spends countless hours mentoring youngsters, as young as 4 and up to 19 years-old, in multiple sports as well as in character development and teamwork.

Jon and his wife, Sarahbeth, are raising 3 boys: Jarrett 14, Grayson 12 and Colton 8. He is a Regional Manager for First Interstate Bank’s Wealth Management department and covers the entire Northwest for the bank.

Co-Head Coach – Bucks C – Kyler Stark

Relatively new to coaching, Coach Stark will take the helm of the Bucks’ “C” team and work program-wide with all of the Bucks’ corner infielders. He also has pitched at various levels and played for Coach Schultz form 2012-2014 in Gillette, Wyoming, where the Riders won a state championship. He coached a year for the Junior Riders baseball team while in Gillette.

In 2020, Kyler graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and moved to the Gallatin Valley. Currently, Kyler works in finance at Consolidated Electrical Distributors in Bozeman. Like most of his fellow coaches, he is a big fan of many of the outdoor activities that come with living in the Northern Rockies.

Co-Head Coach – Bucks C – Hunter Williams

Hunter is a five-year Buck’s veteran player, who is currently pitching for, and studying computer science at, Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. “I love the Bucks’ program as it afforded me the opportunity to work with excellent coaches and staff and develop my playing ability to the fullest—all while having a great deal of fun. Now, while I continue my playing career, I also get to lend my knowledge and experience to younger ballplayers, who are striving to optimize their time in baseball.”

In his free time, Hunter prefers hanging with friends, whether enjoying Montana outdoor sports or competing in old-fashion board games.

Volunteer Program Assistant – Yale Rosen

Yale will be beginning his coaching experience in 2021, coming off of two years of professional baseball in the outfield for the San Diego Padres organization after they drafted him in round eleven.

He expects to pull from his playing experiences at several levels to give back my knowledge and experience to players that share the  dreams I had growing up”.  Yale played for Washington State, Cape Cod Summer Collegiate League champions Newport Gulls and Cotuit Kettleers. He played high school ball for Oak Harbor in Washington state.

Yale and his wife Carly live in the Gallatin Valley with their 3-year old son, Cody and 16-month old daughter, Casey. He works as a President’s Club Mortgage Banker for Quicken Loans, where he specializes in current-client refinance. He spends his free time camping, mountain biking and fly fishing.

Program Volunteer – Paul McGhay

Coach McGhay continues on the staff in 2021, where he’ll work with outfielders in a volunteer role. He brings an extensive background in baseball, both as a player and coach. Paul grew up playing baseball and football in Billings. In 1988, the Pittsburg Pirates drafted Paul in the 25th round of the MLB draft and he played two seasons for the organization. Paul earned his BS from Montana State University in Physical Education with a Sports Medicine emphasis.

In addition to his time with the Bucks, Paul’s coaching background includes time at the Youth/Babe Ruth All-Star level in Bozeman, as well as serving as Assistant Varsity coach at El Toro High School in Southern California.

Paul moved back to Bozeman in 2008. He has one son, Chase, who attends MSU. Paul currently owns Accelerated Medical and Bracing, a distributorship for DJO Global.

Coach Schultz says of  McGhay: “Paul does whatever it takes to help elevate our program. He is well-prepared every day to coach, and always looking to improve our operations. He adds an element of energy to our staff that complements our coaching strategies.”