A Man on the Move: Q & A with baseball coach Kyle Howell

by Alec Byrne – Horizon Sports Editor

Kyle Howell is a man on the move. Before his four years at Hesston (one as assistant coach, three as head coach), Howell made stops at College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Mo.), El Paso (Texas) Community College and Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, Mo). Along with his work at the collegiate level, he has also coached in the Washington Nationals organization and currently serves as an associate scout for the Boston Red Sox. Howell has been around the game of baseball for a long time, but is now taking on a new role as athletic director at St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona.

(Coach Howell and Cooper Morgan before a game in April)

AB: “What’s the difference in responsibilities between the head coach and assistant coach?”

KH: “As the associate coach we were in a transition phase with Rob [Ramseyer] becoming the athletic director and so 95 percent of my responsibilities were recruiting which was fun because I got to be out on the road more, and it’s a really fun process. As a head coach you control more of what goes on, but you also bear the brunt of some of the more tedious things that go on. There are positives to both, but as the assistant I think you are closer to players.”


AB: “What was your favorite part about Hesston?”

KH: “My favorite part of Hesston would have to be the relationships. Seeing guys reach their potential. One of my favorite memories was watching all of the guys dogpile when we won a regional.”


AB: “What sparked the decision to go to Arizona?”

KH: “It was about finding the best fit for my family at the time. Hesston has been a great fit, and could have still been a great fit, but Arizona provided something more challenging professionally and provided an opportunity to become closer to family as well as financial security. We prayed about it, and tried to make the best move possible.”


AB: “What is the best advice that you would give to the returning players?”

KH: “My advice to the returning players would be to make the most of your experience, because you only get to do it for a limited time. At some point in life we all get told that we can’t play the game anymore, and so I would tell my returning players to play every game like it’s their last, because you never know when that day will be. ”


AB: “How would you describe your unique contribution to the Hesston College baseball legacy?”

KH: “I think that my time here has resulted in more players continuing on in their playing career, and that’s something that we as a staff prioritize. If a kid is choosing to invest their future not only in Hesston but in me as a coach and our program, then we need to emphasize helping people continue on that journey. Looking at the Hesston landscape and baseball, I think that is extremely unique as well as a great change for the campus community. On the field, we have rewritten almost every offensive category that’s been here both individually and team based, and so I can’t wait to see what new head coach Tim Cole does in his time here. I will always have a special connection here with Hesston because it was my first head coaching job.”

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