Houston Wildcatters Staff & Coaches

Bender_Heath - North Director

Heath Bender

North Director / Head Coach


Coach Bender grew up in Rock Island, Illinois, where he loved baseball from an early age and learned from a host of outstanding mentors, including his dad – Gary Bender – who was the head baseball coach at Rock Island High School and is a proud member of the Illinois High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. As a senior in high school, Heath set records for home runs, triples, doubles, batting average, and RBIs. He participated in the 1993 Olympic Festival, where his team won gold. Bender went on to play first base for the University of Memphis, where he earned a spot on the all-conference team. He also led the Central Illinois Collegiate League in home runs during this time. During his senior year of college, Bender was drafted in the 23rd round of the amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians. In 2004, Bender and his family moved to Kingwood, Texas and opened The Zone Baseball Academy. What started as three batting cages in a small warehouse ultimately grew to a 15,000-square-foot training facility with 10 cages, two bullpens, three outdoor lighted baseball fields and, 30+ select baseball teams. Bender has now been coaching youth baseball for 20 years and specializes in hitting instruction for players of all ages. Just like his dad, Heath’s expertise, enthusiasm, and positive teaching techniques set players up for success.