Kansas Wesleyan University Director of Athletics Mike Hermann announced the hiring of former Ashford University softball coach Kevin Jannusch as the 13th coach in the history of the Kansas Wesleyan Softball program.
Jannusch succeeds Hailey Torrez who left the program in November after one season, leading the Coyotes to a 35-16 record including a 17-5 mark in the KCAC, a KCAC Tournament Championship and an appearance in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round in 2017.
“We had an amazing pool of candidates for the position, even with the odd time of year. Kevin stood out because of his experience and reputation for focusing on the student-athlete experience,” Hermann said. “He has a long tenure as a softball coach and has coached at a variety of levels, including a very successful run as the head coach at Ashford at the NAIA level. He impressed the committee with his preparation and enthusiasm for the role. I’m confident that he’ll lead our program in very positive direction.”
“First I want to thank Dr. (Matt) Thompson (KWU President), Mr. Hermann and the entire hiring committee for this opportunity,” Jannusch said. “I’m honored to be offered a chance to join such a polished campus and staff. The seeds of success have long been planted at Kansas Wesleyan in the KWU Athletic Department. That is a testament to the work they have put it. I am happy to join that culture.”
He said that the welcoming atmosphere on campus really sold him on becoming a part of the Coyote family.
“There was a familiarity I felt on my campus visit. The staff and student-athletes I met were friendly and warm,” Jannusch added. “As a new coach, you can’t wish for more than a feeling of family that already exists. I can’t wait to meet all of the players.”
Jannusch said that he is ready to continue the longstanding tradition of success within the softball program and highlighted his formula to a successful softball program.
“Softball at Kansas Wesleyan has a long tradition of conference success. Building on that excellence will be a priority,” he said. “We will focus on what we do well and exploit that style of softball. There is a formula to winning softball games: Great pitching; solid defense and timely hitting, in that order. That will be our focus. I’m eager to get started.”
Jannusch most recently served as an assistant coach at Texas-San Antonio in 2017, but spent six years as head coach at Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa from 2011 until 2016 when the university closed its traditional campus to become an online only university.
While at Ashford, Jannusch became the program’s all-time wins leader and won the AII Tournament and made the school’s first-ever NAIA National Championship appearance in 2016. He coached 33 all-conference players, 14 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes, had four teams named as NAIA Scholar Teams and a CoSIDA Academic All-American. His 2016 squad set a school record with 30 wins and in 2016, Jannusch was inducted to the Ashford Athletic Hall of Fame.
Before Ashford, Jannusch coached at Incarnate Word in San Antonio from 2002 to 2007. In his five seasons with the Cardinals, he won 142 games, the second highest total in school history while leading the team to its first ever NCAA Regional Runner-Up title and first ever Heartland Conference Championship in 2006 and first ever NCAA ranking at No. 14 in the final Division II poll that season. The team’s 46 wins that season is a school record. While at UIW, he coached 18 All-Heartland Conference players, four NFCA All-Region players and two NFCA All-Americans.
He also has coaching stops at Texas State, St. Edwards (Texas), Evansville, Colorado Mesa, Lincoln (Mo.), and Our Lady of the Lake (Texas). He also founded and coached the Hearts of Texas Girls Fastpitch Club in Austin from 1996 to 2007.
Jannusch is excited about taking over at Kansas Wesleyan and to be able to be involved in mentoring student-athletes through their experience at KWU. He feels that the philosophy on campus of enriching the student experience through many different avenues is important to student success.
“Most importantly, I am excited to be involved in the lives of the student-athletes at Kansas Wesleyan. College athletics is just one part of the college experience. Educating the entire student has become a significant approach to me on how to go about business. That philosophy is already present on campus. My beliefs match up perfectly to that.”
Jannusch has a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Colorado Mesa University.