Howard, who has spent the past 14 seasons at LaGrange College, has a proven history of success. He led the Panthers to a 372-266 record and produced 58 all-conference players, 16 all-region players and 15 all-Americans.
Howard replaces John Ihlenburg, who joined the Reinhardt staff in 2004 and became head coach in 2011, after his predecessor, Bill Popp, relinquished coaching duties to serve solely as Reinhardt’s athletic director. Ihlenburg’s contract was not renewed after the Eagles went 48-62 in his two seasons as coach, including a 26-30 mark in 2013.
Howard said in a university release that he is excited about the opportunity at Reinhardt.
“I’m excited to provide a vision for the baseball program, and I’m looking forward to putting a plan in place to lead the baseball program to excellence,” he said.
LaGrange is an NCAA Division III school — a level that does not permit athletic scholarships — so Howard will have the benefit of scholarships at Reinhardt.
Part of Howard’s plan includes reaching out to the current players on the Eagles’ roster, as well as the recruits slated to join the team for the 2014 season.
“I want to let them get to know me and to have a chance to get to know them before we get back on campus when school starts,” Howard said in the release. “I want to make sure the players know that we have a vision and a plan moving forward.”
Popp said in the release that the hiring committee liked the proven track record of Howard, their first choice for the position.
“Kevin is a tremendous baseball coach,” Popp said. “He has a proven track record of success at the NCAA Division III level and has done a spectacular job with his student-athletes, both on the field and in the classroom. I am certain he will be a great fit for the Reinhardt baseball program for many years to come.”
Prior to developing the program at LaGrange, Howard spent six seasons at Emory University, where he led that team to three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament. In four of his seasons at Emory, the team was ranked by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Howard has also spent time as an assistant coach at two NCAA Division I programs — Indiana and Morehead State — and his alma mater, the College of Wooster in Ohio.
Howard is a 1988 graduate of Wooster, where he was an all-region player in both football and baseball. He holds a master’s degree in exercise science from Morehead State.