Coaching Staff | Baseball Hitting & Pitching Coach NYC - NY Bluebirds


Mike Handell - President

Mike is a lifelong New Yorker and entrepreneur who grew up on the Upper West Side loving all sports, especially baseball.  In 2002, at the age of eighteen, Mike founded Kids of Summer Sports, an instructional recreational sports organization based in Manhattans Riverside Park.  Kids of Summer currently trains over 800 children per year in both baseball, basketball, flag football and soccer through summer camps, school break programs, after school, travel teams and more. In 2014, Mike partnered with Juan Hernandez to found the NY Bluebirds Youth Baseball Organization.  The mission was to provide competitive youth baseball players the opportunity to train, learn and play in a professional atmosphere with the best coaching and training platform in New York City.  Mikes responsibilities include the administration of the organization, player recruitment, scheduling and all parent communication.  He loves seeing players improve, gain confidence and succeed both on and off the field and looks forward to the Bluebirds continuing to grow through the support of its wonderful families for many years to come.  Mike graduated cum laude from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University in 2005 with a dual major in broadcast journalism and political science while playing for the Syracuse University baseball club where he was elected two time team captain. Prior to that, he attended the Bronx High School of Science and played Varsity Baseball for three years where he was named team captain and awarded the school's Iron Man Award three years in a row for never missing a single game or practice.  He amassed a career .463 batting average and was selected to the All Bronx and All-Senior Team by the New York Daily News where he represented the Bronx/Manhattan All-Star team as the starting first baseman.  When not near a baseball field or playing/watching sports, he enjoys the beach, traveling and spending time with his wife Emily and two daughters.

Juan Hernandez - Director of Baseball Operations and Development

Juan was born in the Dominican Republic.  His family immigrated to NYC when he was 2 years old and since then he has been a proud New Yorker.    Juan founded the NY Bluebirds with Mike Handell with one goal in mind: To develop the best baseball players in NYC!  Juan brings with over a decade of experience developing high performing teams and players.  His training philosophy stems from a unique combination of past experiences as a player, coach, instructor, and from the baseball professionals he frequently consults.  As director of operations and development, Juan is responsible for the training and development of all the players in the organization.  He is also responsible for the training and development of the coaching staff.  Juan played 4 years of Varsity baseball at DeWitt Clinton High School where he earned All-City recognition junior and senior year.  He later trained and played in the Dominican Republic where he had the opportunity to join the Cleveland Indians organization as an infielder.  After graduating college, he earned the opportunity to play for the Azules de Mexicali of the Mexican professional baseball League.   Juan graduated Ramapo College in 2009 with a B.A. in Economics with international honors.  In 2011 he graduated from the University at Albany, SUNY with a M.A. degree in Economics.  When he is not at work or working at his charitable foundation, Juan likes to spend time with his wife Mariel, friends and family. 



COACH YEURY - HEAD PITCHING COACH / HEAD COACH

Coach Yeury Valera was raised in NYC attending South Bronx High School as one of NYC's best pitchers and later signing with the St. Louis Cardinals where he spent 2 seasons in their minor league system as a pitcher.  Moving back to NYC he found his passion coaching the game to youth players and helps lead our Bluebirds pitching staff.  He was also the head coach of the Varsity Baseball team at the Collegiate School for Boys on Manhattans Upper West Side.

COACH JOSE - HEAD HITTING COACH / HEAD COACH

COACH FERNANDO - OUTFIELDING COACH / HITTING COACH

Coach Fernando has been on the staff for multiple seasons and has become one of the organizations most trusted and reliable coaches.  He played Division I baseball as an outfielder at Lehman College and is a patient, knowledgeable instructor who can teach multiple skills.  He currently coaches our 12U Blue team and has matured into a tremendous leader and instructor.


COACH BRIAN - Assistant Director of Programming

Brian Handell was born to play and coach sports. Raised on the Upper West Side, he had a successful athletic career at Beacon High School, where he won a PSAL baseball championship as their starting centerfielder, and was the leading scorer in all of the PSAL as captain of the soccer team with 32 goals in 13 games. He went on to attend the University of Delaware as a member of their Division I soccer team.

Brian has been developing his passion for coaching at Kids of Summer Sports of NYC over the past 13 years and is now the co-director and in charge of programming for the summer camp, making it a true family business with his brother Mike. In addition, Brian was brought on to help with the administration of the Bluebirds organization with scheduling logistics, COVID-19 safety protocols and practice and team coordination.

In the Fall of 2018 Brian was hired as the head varsity soccer coach at his alma mater, Beacon High School, a city powerhouse, and in 2019 led them to a PSAL New York City Class A title. Brian was also formerly the Assistant Athletic Director at The Computer School, a public middle school on the Upper West Side where he served as head coach for boys baseball, boys and girls basketball, and boys soccer, and previously was a head coach for our Bluebirds teams.





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