2006: THE IDEA
The concept of The BenchCoach started while I was helping out in the dugout for my son’s youth baseball team. My friend, who was coaching the team of 7-8 year olds, was standing outside the dugout before the first game and saying to the boys something like “ok, make sure you put your hats and gloves in the same place after every inning.” I looked at him and said “even if they were listening to you they wouldn’t know what you really meant”! So over the course of the game while I was straightening up hats, helmets, bats and gloves in the dugout, I had the thought that I could do something about the chaos and disorganization in the dugout.
Having played baseball through high school myself and being a baseball fan in general, I always thought it was really cool watching MLB players go into the dugout and put their helmets and bats in the large wooden built-in structures just at the bottom of the dugout steps.
So with that vision in mind, I set out on the path and process of inventing what became The BenchCoach. It took just under a year to produce a prototype, figure out what type of company could help me make it a real product, and then produce multiple production models that we tweaked several times. Finally, it was time to write the check and order a full container of BenchCoach units. The first container arrived in August of 2008 and I started showing up at games and tournaments to promote and sell The BenchCoach.
Initially, I wanted a home for every piece of equipment players used so nothing was left on the dugout ground. So the original BenchCoach design consisted of 18 compartments and two large shelves for catcher’s equipment and even a hook for the catcher’s mask. Once I got out to tournaments and games and got teams to use The BenchCoach, it became apparent that the unit didn’t need to be that big and catchers didn’t really store their equipment between innings, they mostly keep it on until they get in the on-deck circle.
2011: THE R12 & R12X
We introduced a smaller model, the R12, that consisted of 12 player compartments and was much more compact and easier to handle then the original, which was then branded the R18. After a few years we phased out both the R12 and R18 in favor of the current model, the R12x. We received a lot of feedback from coaches that 12 players weren’t enough and 18 was usually too many. So we designed the R12x with the flexibility of converting from 12 players to 14 or 16 player compartments by incorporating an insert piece that attaches in the bottom shelf sections.
Currently, there are more than 9,000 BenchCoaches out there in use and we are very proud of the reputation The BenchCoach has earned over the years by being an affordable, durable dugout organizer that gets the job done and makes your players feel like they’re pros!