A veteran coach at both the Division-I and community-college ranks, Blake Kangas has joined the Kansas State baseball staff, head coach Brad Hill announced Friday.
Kangas has been the hitting coach at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., for the past four seasons, directing the Golden Eagle offense to top offensive rankings in the state of California each season. He replaces former Wildcat catcher and coach Rob Vaughn, who was hired earlier this month by former K-State associate head coach John Szefc to be the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Maryland.
“I am pleased to announce the addition of Blake Kangas to our staff,” Hill said in a release. “He has experience at the Division-I level as both a coach and player, as well as coaching at the community-college level. He was the hitting coach at Feather River and assisted with all phases of the offense, which resembles the style of offense we run at Kansas State.”
A former player at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kangas helped Feather River to a 136-27 record and coached eight first-team All-America selections, while he coached or recruited 10 conference pitcher, player or defensive players of the year.
“I am happy to join the coaching staff at K-State and look forward to working with a great group of players,” Kangas said. “It’s our goal to bring K-State baseball back to the upper echelon of the Big 12 Conference.”
Kangas, 29, guided Feather River to the top batting average in the state of California each of the last three seasons, including a .335 mark in 2012, while his offense led the state in both hits and runs scored each season. Additionally, he tutored six players that were drafted during his four-year tenure, including four in 2011.
A native of Rochester, Minn., Kangas comes from a baseball background as his father, Keith, was a pitcher at Iowa State from 1975-78 and was the National High School Coach of the Year in 2003.