Air Force announced Monday evening that Maj. Mike Kazlausky has been named interim head baseball coach for the 2011 season. Kazlausky, who is currently an Air Officer Commanding (AOC) for cadet squadron 12 at the Academy, will assume his duties at the end of the current baseball season. He'll take over for Mike Hutcheon, who announced this weekend that he will resign at the end of the season.
Kazlausky is a 1991 Air Force graduate who has logged six years as an assistant coach for the Falcons. He arrived at Air Force as a walk-on and started for four years. A two-time all-Western Athletic Conference selection, Kazlausky held eight career school records at the time of his graduation.
From 1993-95, Kazlausky served as an assistant coach to former Falcon head coach Paul Mainieri, now the coach at Louisiana State. During that period, the Falcons posted three consecutive winning seasons. After leaving the Academy in the summer of 1995, Kazlausky spent four years at Charleston (S.C.) Air Force Base as a pilot in the C-17 aircraft. Kazlausky returned for two more stints as an Air Force assistant in 2000-04 and 2006-08.
“I’m very pleased to have Kaz take over as our baseball coach," said Dr. Hans Mueh, Air Force's director of athletics. "He has demonstrated a great knowledge of the game as both a player and assistant coach and I’m confident he’ll continue to do so as our head coach. He has shown great leadership ability, not only in athletics, but also in his current role as an AOC and I think our athletes and fans will immediately take to that. I’m excited about that and the enthusiasm that he’ll bring to Air Force baseball.”
Eric Campbell, USA Baseball's general manager of national teams, lauded the Kazlausky hire. Kazlausky played for Campbell when he was an assistant to Mainieri, worked with Campbell as an assistant and has done some work with USA Baseball.
"It’s great to see Kaz back with the baseball program at Air Force," Campbell said in an e-mail. "As one of its all-time great players and an assistant coach to four different head coaches, no one person associated with the Air Force Academy understands the needs of the baseball program moving forward as well as Kaz."