Kyle Howell, head coach
Kyle Howell enters his third season as head coach for the Larks
Since he has become the head coach, the Larks have gone on to rewrite the record books at Hesston College. In 2015 the Larks won their regional and advanced to the District Event (Super Regional) held in Kansas City, Mo. There they would fall to eventual national runner-up Western Oklahoma State. The ’15 season saw Alex Perez set the single season hits record (70) and Collin Loutensock set the single season strikeout record (80) as the ace of the staff. In 2016, the Larks felt a back slide in the wins department, but under Howell they continued the tradition of helping players reach their highest potential. Since arrived at Hesston, 27 players have moved on to play and continue their education at the next level. This includes coaching the only six Division I signees in the history of the baseball program at Hesston.
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 and 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 41 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.
Coach Howell resides in Valley Center, Kan., with his wife, Kassie, and daughters Khloe and Kelsea and son Kannon.
Thomas Kellner, assistant coach/recruiting coordinator
Thomas Kellner begins his first season as the pitching coach for the Larks. In addition to his game and practice duties, Kellner will also assist with recruiting and program management.
“Adding Coach (Thomas) Kellner is a going to be big for our program. His playing background and intensity speak volumes about the type of competitor and type of person he is,” said Head Coach Kyle Howell. “Our guys will be able to take away a ton from him and he will really enhance our staff.”
Kellner comes to Hesston after spending three years at Central Christian College. His playing career was pretty remarkable. While at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Kellner was a 2-time all-conference pitcher and won the MCAC Gold Glove for pitchers his senior season. He was also an all-region NCCAA player. In 2011, he was part of the NCCAA National Championship team. He was the winning pitcher in the championship game pitching a complete game on two days rest throwing 9 innings the previous start. In 2012, he helped lead his team back to the National title game, ultimately becoming the 2012 NCCAA National Runner Up.
Kellner was born and raised in Kyle, Texas. He resides in Potwin, Kan., with his wife, Megan.
Chris Dawson, assistant coach
Chris Dawson enters his second year as an assistant coach for the Larks program. He coordinates the baserunning and is the infield coach at Hesston. Along with those duties, Dawson is responsible for taking care of Oswald Field.
Cole Seltzer starts his second year as the student-assistant for the Larks. Cole is responsible for coaching the Hesston outfielders, as well as coaching first base during all game action. Cole is a student at Wichita State University. He is majoring in sports management while carrying a 4.0 GPA.