Kyle Howell, head coach
Kyle Howell enters his first season as Head Coach for the Larks
Prior to arriving at Hesston, Kyle 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.
While at El Paso CC, Coach Howell was responsible for handling the recruiting efforts for the Tejanos. During his time at EPCC he coached two MLB Draft picks, the WJCAC Player of the Year, as well as the NJCAA National Player of the Year in 2014.
During the summer of 2013, Howell served as the assistant coach for the Midwest Nationals 18U Scout Team based out of Springfield, Mo. In Coach Howell’s first season, the Nationals would go on to finish 46-11, including winning the Premier Baseball National Championship. This was the first 18U National Title in the organization’s history.
Since 2011, Howell has coached 18 Division I signees and six MLB Draft picks.
After finishing his playing career at Southwest Baptist University, Coach Howell joined the coaching staff working with catchers and assisting with hitters. Following the 2010 fall semester he accepted a coaching position in the Washington Nationals organization. While with the Nationals, Kyle served as the strength and conditioning coach and first base coach for the Class-A affiliate Hagerstown (Md.) Suns.
Kyle resides in Valley Center, Kan. with his wife Kassie and daughters Khloe and Kelsea.
Courtney Spitz, assistant coach/recruiting coordinator
Coach Spitz enters his first year in Hesston as the Lark’s hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. During games he will serve as the 3rd base coach. In 2014, Spitz was part of a Drury University (Springfield, Mo.) coaching staff that guided the Panthers to a 44-13 campaign, the program’s second Great Lakes Valley Conference championship and a trip to the title game in the NCAA, Div. II Midwest Regional where the Panthers lost 4-2 to eventual national champion Southern Indiana Univ.
The Springfield, Mo. native hit .353 as a DU senior in 2012, the ninth-highest batting average in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and third on his DU squad. He finished his career with a .322 batting average in 171 at-bats, making 47 starts while playing in 72 games in three seasons as a Panther.
In his first season as a volunteer assistant with the Panthers (2013), Spitz helped DU to a school-record 39 victories in a campaign that produced a GLVC West regular season title, a runner-up finish in the conference tourney and the host role for the NCAA, Div. II Midwest Regional.
“I’m excited to have Coach Spitz join the staff,” Howell said. “He and I played together almost ten years ago. This is a phenomenal addition for our program and the college community”
Coach Spitz and his wife, Katie, reside in Wichita, Kan.
Skylar Hill, assistant coach
Coach Hill enters his first season as the Larks pitching coach. A Little River (Kan.) High School grad, he pitched at Barton Community College (Great Bend, Kan.) before playing at Missouri Southern State University (Joplin) in the MIAA Div. II conference. Hill played summer ball in the Walter Johnson and Jayhawk Conference wood bat leagues.
“Adding Coach Hill will do great things for our staff,” Howell said. “He’s a young coach with a tremendous work ethic and game knowledge. He relates to guys well and they will feed off his energy.”
Coach Hill resides in McPherson, Kan.