Yackley coaches, teaches baseball year-round: MHS grad is instructor at Omaha’s premier training academy
OMAHA, Neb. -- Omaha, Nebraska’s Ultimate Baseball Academy is one of the premier training facilities in the nation, and Ryan Yackley is at the center of it.
Yackley, who is a 2011 Mitchell High School graduate, is an all-skills instructor at the academy and the head coach of the 13U UBA Gladiator Black.
He joined UBA shortly after moving to Omaha in 2016 and specialized in just pitching. But he wanted to broaden his horizons and is now an all-skills instructor at the academy, which is the largest of all the indoor baseball training facilities in the Midwest. In addition to pitching, he also gives instructions in catching, hitting and fielding.
“I have loved every bit of it,” Yackley, 27, said. “UBA is a wonderful place. It’s in my opinion probably one of the best -- if not the best -- training facilities in the country. It’s got everything you need. It’s got great people there. Awesome people run it. So it’s been great.”
The facility is two stories and features 17 training tunnels, four bullpens, five batting catches and a turf field. It is also home to fall baseball leagues, youth camps, clinics and tournaments throughout the year.
“You are talking about a facility that has just blown up to just meet every need for a baseball player in the Omaha area,” Yackley said. “It’s just what has made Omaha players just so competitive is because of a place like that.”
But Yackley said the trainers and their wealth of experience are the lifeblood of the academy. There are 11 trainers on staff and many of them bring years of coaching experience to UBA. Curt Shockey, who is in the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame and guided his team baseball teams to multiple state championships, is an instructor. So is Joe Manganaro, who spent 17 years as the Wayne State College head coach.
“It’s a place where kids come for ultimate development and they get to be seen by some of the best instructors in the Omaha metro area and surrounding areas,” Yackley said.
Yackley’s journey to UBA began with a basketball coaching position. He graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in 2016 with a degree in human services with an emphasis in counseling and a minor in coaching. After graduation, Yackley moved to Omaha for a high school counselor position.
He later signed up for a volunteer basketball coaching job at Concordia Academy in Omaha. One of the basketball players also played for the UBA Gladiators and the mother recommended Yackley to the baseball academy.
Yackley, who played college baseball at Indian Hills Community College and South Dakota State University, has since been at UBA since fall 2017. He first began as just the coach of the Gladiators, but worked his way into an instructor position. He works with players ranging from five-years-old to college-level players. Yackley also helps conduct fall developmental classes.
What Yackley enjoys most about UBA are the collaboration with other instructors and continuing to learn from baseball minds. It’s also rewarding watching the development of his players.
“It’s a rewarding thing when I see a kid do specifically what I taught him to do in an instruction or mom or dad emails me or texts me and says ‘Hey, Jimmy just had an amazing game today. Thank you so much for what you are doing. He’s really listening to you,’ ” Yackley said. “It’s just little tidbits that I picked up as a pitcher in college, but also I am happy to pass that along to the next kid.”
He’s also been an assistant baseball coach at Concordia Academy and most recently the head coach for the Bellevue West junior varsity team. Curt Shockey’s son, Jason, is the head coach at Bellevue West and that helped Yackley land the position.
Yackley is also the student administrative manager at Council Bluffs Community School District in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is nine miles away from Omaha.
Whether it be with UBA or Bellevue West, Yackley is actively involved with baseball year around in some capacity.
“I am coaching, instructing and I am doing classes all at the same time,” Yackley said. “It’s more of a never skip-a-beat kind of thing.”
He’s usually busy Monday through Saturday, but saves Sundays for his wife, Xandria, and their nine-year-old son, Braxton. Xandria recently graduated from the Creighton University School of Dentistry and the couple recently married on June 13.
“My wife and my son, they have been really supportive with this,” Yackley said. “Because they know it’s been my passion when I was done playing baseball.”