Josh Kauten is in his seventh season as an assistant baseball coach for the Heartland Community College baseball program after working as the Hawks’ pitching coach his first six years.
Kauten joined the Hawks during the 2009 season and has helped the program to three NJCAA Division-II World Series appearances, including third and fourth place finishes in 2012 and 2013, five straight Mid-West Athletic Conference regular season championships, and six straight seasons of 40 plus wins.
Since Kauten has taken over for the Hawks, his pitching staffs have compiled an impressive 3.08 earned run average. In addition to leading the M-WAC in ERA every year of his tenure, Kauten’s pitchers have dominated the conference’s postseason awards. An HCC player has been named the M-WAC Pitcher of the Year in four of his 6 seasons (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013). One of those pitchers, Chris Razo (POY 2011), went on to be named the Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the year in 2013.
Kauten has also produced 29 NCAA Division-I pitchers, four NJCAA All-Americans, eight All-Region 24 pitchers, 15 all-conference pitchers, eight First Team All M-WAC pitchers, eight academic all-conference pitchers, four Academic All-Americans, the 2012 Region 24 Pitcher of the Year (Aaron Hauge), and four MLB draft selections.
In 2014, Kauten helped the Hawks to their sixth straight 40 win season at 43-13 and a fifth straight M-WAC regular season championship. Kauten’s pitching staff featured All-Region 24 selection Pat Cashman. In 2013, Heartland reached the 50 win plateau for the third straight year, finished fourth at the NJCAA Division-II World Series, won a fourth straight M-WAC championship, and Kauten coached his first Second Team All-American honoree in John Lieske, who also became Kauten’s fourth All M-WAC Pitcher of the Year.
Kauten helped lead the Hawks to the program’s best ever finish at the NJCAA D-II World Series in 2012 as they finished third in the nation, went 54-8 overall, and won a third straight M-WAC regular season championship. This year’s pitching staff was led by Aaron Hauge, who was named a Third Team All-American and the Region 24 and M-WAC Pitcher of the Year.
In 2011, the Hawks broke through to their first NJCAA D-II World Series after going 54-11 and winning the M-WAC for the second straight year. Additionally, Chris Razo became Kauten’s second straight M-WAC Pitcher of the Year, and was joined on the mound by Aaron Hauge as All-Region 24 picks.
2010 saw Kauten’s second straight Third Team All-American and first M-WAC Pitcher of the Year selection in Dillon Napoleon as Heartland finished the season 45-11, won the M-WAC regular season championship for the first time, and was one win away from the NJCAA D-II World Series for the second straight year.
In Kauten’s inaugural coaching stint (2009), he coached his first All-American selection(3rd Team) in Ryan Juris as the Hawks went 42-9, beginning their streak of six straight seasons with 40 plus wins, and finished second in the Region 24 Tournament and win victory shy of advancing to the program’s first NJCAA D-II World Series.
Kauten pitched at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa before transferring to Illinois State where he pitched for two seasons. He earned Academic All-American honors at Kirkwood, while also earning Male Scholar Athlete of the Year at ISU in 2003. Following his college career, the Detroit Tigers selected Kauten 11th round (313th overall) in the 2004 Major League Amateur Draft. After spending half a season in Short Season A, Kauten spent the next two seasons split between the West Michigan White Caps (Tigers A affiliates) and the Lakeland Tigers (Tigers High A affiliates). In the second half of the 2005 season, Kauten went 4-2 with a 2.84 era for Lakeland. He then spent two years in Independent Ball with the Lincoln Salt Dogs and El Paso Diablos. He finished his pro career with a 3.72 ERA.
Josh also serves as Heartland Community College's Fitness and Recreation Center's Coordinator, and resides in Normal with his wife Emily and daughter Norah.
Phone: (309) 268-8416 (Office)
Email: Josh Kauten