Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana hires new pitching coach

Years ago, Justin Hauer could be seen wearing green and white as he played Friday night football for Alleman High School. Now, Hauer will don the Augustana navy and gold as he works with the baseball team as the new pitching coach.
Hauer, who took over for previous pitching coach Mike Meyers, has come home to the Quad Cities after coaching for the last two years at Heartland Community College in Normal, Ill, and is excited to be back.
“Home is always home. Being home is always a great thing,” Hauer said.
Hauer is looking to provide a special experience for his pitchers. Just four years removed from playing collegiate baseball at Illinois State University, he knows firsthand the difficulties of being a college student athlete.
During the hiring process, Director of Athletics Mike Zapolski, noted how professional Hauer was.
“The first time I met him, the biggest thing that stood out was his professionalism,” Zapolski said.
When the position opened up after Meyers resigned because of family reasons, Hauer’s name was brought up by men’s baseball head coach Mike Wallace.
When the athletic administration was looking for someone to take the positon, there were different criteria they were considering. Zapolski said they needed someone who had experience being a pitching coach, was a proactive recruiter and a person that had strong ties to the Quad Cities.
Although Zapolski was involved in the hiring process, he noted that it is important to let Wallace guide who they would hire.
“These coaches are the people that they have to go to war with. Sometimes they spend more time with their fellow coaches than their families,” Zapolski said.
With the school year just starting, Hauer’s interaction with the Augustana baseball team has been minimal. This is partly because of NCAA Division III rules that only allow 16 fall practices. Those 16 practices will be spread out over a four-week period and will be an opportunity for Hauer to meet the team and show them his expectations.
Though the Augustana baseball season may still be a while away, both Hauer and the team are excited to meet each other and start practicing.

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Augustana hires new pitching coach