Jim DeSana is the founder and President of Catholic Baseball Players for Christ, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization sponsoring the Lake Erie Monarchs. DeSana founded the Monarchs in 1999, and they have played in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League since their inception. DeSana is the Monarchs Team President/General Manager and has served in that role for the past 18 years.
DeSana was the Head Coach at St. Mary Catholic Central High School in Monroe Michigan from 2000 to 2009 and has the most wins in school history. DeSana has also established a large organization of teen and youth travel teams under the Michigan Monarchs name, including the Mini-Monarchs, which regularly help as bat boys and ball boys for the Monarchs team. The travel teams range from 18u down to 9u.
DeSana holds a Business Administration degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy. He and his wife Stephanie have eight children, Megan, Emily, Kate, Jimmy, Andrew, Joe, Madeleine and John and 6 grandchildren.
Brad Merritt is a 2003 graduate of Maryville High School in Maryville, Tennessee. He starred in both football and baseball. Brad was a three-time state champion and two-time all-state selection on the gridiron. Merritt played his first prep baseball season as a sophomore at Maryville.
Following graduation, he attended Carson Newman College on a football scholarship. However, an unfortunate injury ended his football career after just one season. Putting football in the rear view mirror, he transferred to the University of Tennessee and walked on as a pitcher for the 2005-2006 season. While at UT, he earned his degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing.
After receiving his degree and taking a couple years off from baseball, Brad pursued his baseball dreams overseas, joining the Eagles Praha of the Czech Extraliga in 2012. During his first season, he led his teams in wins and ERA as well as being named the MVP of the 2012 finals. He would play for the Eagles from 2012-2015, serving as the pitching instructor for the Eagles during his final three seasons before transferring to Czech rival Kotlarka Praha for the 2015 season. Brad again led his club in wins and ERA during the regular season while helping his team win his first international championship. While in Europe, Brad also worked closely with MLB Elite Academies and performed independent scout duties.
Brad's next venture took him to Australia, where he played for the Woden Rebels in the Australian State league during the winter months. From there, he was named head coach/player for the Baldham Boars of Munich, Germany in 2016.
Since returning to the U.S. in November of 2016, Brad has been running his own baseball academy and working for the D-Bats Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee. In total, Brad has 6 years of professional playing and coaching experience, three years of scouting experience, and 27 years of involvement in the game.