Tim Huber enters his ninth season as skipper of the Vikings in 2017 after another stellar year this past season which saw Augustana post 37 wins, its seventh straight season of 30-plus wins, and fourth straight with at least 35 victories.
Huber now owns a career record of 276-158 (.636), including a 177-81 mark in conference play in his eighth seasons as head coach.
Huber guided the Vikings to a second place finish in the NSIC in 2016, including two wins over No. 1 St. Cloud State on the road. Augustana went 2-2 in the NSIC Tournament with an opening round win against Northern State and a win later in the tournament against Minnesota State.
Huber guided numerous individuals to all-america and all-conference awards in 2016 highlighted by Patrick O’Donnell. O’Donnell earned First Team All-America honors from the D2CCA and Rawlings/ABCA and Second Team All-America honors from the NCBWA. He was also named to the Rawlings/ABCA, D2CCA and NCBWA All-Region teams and was a semifinalist for the Tino Martinez Award for the nation’s top player. He also helped guide Michael Letkewicz to a 23rd round selection in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft. This was Huber's fourth draftee in the last five seasons.
O’Donnell was joined by Justin Warne who earned First Team D2CCA All-Region honors and Michael Letkewicz who earned second team honors. O’Donnell, Warne and Alex Fink each earned NCBWA All-Region honors as well.
Under Huber’s guidance the Vikings placed five on the NSIC All-Conference teams. Letkewicz, Fink, Warne and O’Donnell each earned first team honors while Patrick Fiala was named to the second team. Huber had his best defensive of his career and it showed when he landed the entire infield on the NSIC Gold Glove team that included Fink at first base, Fiala at second base, Lucas Barry at third base and Warne short stop.
In 2016, 13 members made Academic All-NSIC, the most in Huber’s tenure. The athletes to earn this academic honor were Letkewicz, Fink, Barry, Jacob Blank, Ryan Menssen, Dylann Platt, Collen Lovell, Tyler Field, Dalton Allen, Carter Wevik, Ryan Helgeson, Flynn Donelan and Ryan Hamilton. Fink and Letkewicz were each honored for their hard work in the classroom earning CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 honors. Fink went on to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team honors, becoming the sixth member of the Augustana baseball team to be selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team.
Multiple career and season records were broken in 2016 as Fink and O’Donnell both had record seasons at the plate. Fink became the programs all-time leader in RBIs (214), hits (285), career doubles (66), while having the fourth most home runs (28), second most total bases (441) and tied for the most sac flies (13). Fink also tied for the nation lead in doubles in a season with 31. O’Donnell became the first player in program history to record at least 100 hits in a season (102). O’Donnell led all of Division II in 2016 with a batting average of .468. He also was 22nd in the country in RBIs (63) and had the 11th most doubles in the country (23).
Augustana finished the 2016 season ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA in batting average (second), doubles (second), hits (10th), runs scored (ninth), and slugging percentage (fourth).
The Vikings finished 37-7 in 2015, including 25-9 in NSIC play which was good for a third-place finish in the regular season standings. Augustana made its second straight appearance in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Championship, losing 10-5 to then-No. 1 seed St. Cloud State. Huber’s squad also recorded a 25-9 record in NSIC play during the regular season, good for a third-place finish in the league. The 25 conference wins tied the most in team history since joining league in 2009.
At the plate, Augustana was a force as usual under the guidance of its skipper. Augustana’s batting average, runs scored, hits, home runs, and slugging percentage also ranked in the top 10 in all of NCAA Division II.
The Vikings once again were rewarded for their success with seven players earning All-NSIC honors for their play during the year, the most the program has had during its time in the NSIC. The Vikings also made it four straight years of having a player earn All-Central Region accolades by the NCBWA with the selections of Jack Goihl and Patrick Fiala. Fiala’s All-Central Region selection by Daktronics made it six straight years a Vikings’ player has earned all-region honors by the publication, all coming under Huber’s watch.
2014 was a year unlike any other for Huber’s Vikings, setting a new program record in wins with 41. Augustana also claimed their first NSIC Tournament Championship since joining the league in 2008. The Vikings secured their first championship under Huber’s watch after defeating Winona State 4-3 on May 10 at Karras Park Home of Ronken Field. Augustana entered as the No. 2 seed after finishing the regular season with a 25-8 record, the most wins in conference play for them since joining the NSIC.
Winning the NSIC Tournament Championship also gave the Vikings their second ever NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in the school’s history, where they picked up their first NCAA Tournament win in program history against Arkansas-Monticello on May 15.
The veteran skipper also set another milestone during the regular season, becoming Augustana’s all-time wins leader on April 12 after a 6-2 win over Minnesota Duluth at home. The victory gave Huber his 184th career win as head coach, surpassing Scott Timmer’s 17-year-old record of 183. Huber would go on the become the first Viking skipper to reach 200 wins in a career after defeating against Wayne State in the semi-finals of the NSIC Tournament on May 9.
2014 saw Augustana dominate at the plate against its competition. The Vikings led the NSIC in multiple categories that included: batting average (.338), slugging percentage (.502), on-base percentage (.414), runs scored (425), hits (613), RBI (385), doubles (136), triples (19), home runs (41), and stolen bases (112).
Augustana was rewarded for its massive success during the 2014 season under Huber with the trio of Tony Viger, Jack Goihl, and Kye Winter receiving All-America First Team honors by various baseball publications. The three were the first Viking players to be selected to an All-America first team in school history.
Viger became the first player to be named Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year in school history under the guidance of Huber. The former third baseman also was a finalist for the Tito Martinez Award, which is awarded to the top collegiate baseball player in all of Division II, and was named the NCBWA National Player of the Week on April 23.
Huber’s Vikings christened their new, state-of-the art ballpark in 2013 with yet another record-breaking season.
Karras Park Home of Ronken Field was unveiled on March 15, 2013 for the first time in school history Augustana opened a baseball season under the lights.
Augustana’s 2013 record of 38-18 established the program's fourth straight season of at least 30 wins. The year also Included a school-record streak of 15 consecutive victories. The Vikings finished third in the NSIC standings in the regular after posting a 21-7 conference record.
Six of Huber’s players received All-NSIC recognition in 2013, and another earned a spot on the league’s Gold Glove squad. During the season Jack Goihl was named NSIC Player of the Week, while Derek Quame was selected Pitcher of the Week. Michael Willman Jr. notched Augustana’s first no-hitter since 2006 leading the Vikings past Morningside College, 7-1.
For the second straight year under Huber's direction, Augustana had a player selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when sophomore Jordan Milbrath was selected with the 1,041st pick of the 35th round by the Cleveland Indians. Milbrath later signed a professional contract forgoing his junior and senior seasons and was assigned to the AZL Indians of the Arizona Rookie League.
The Vikings advanced to the 2013 conference playoffs for the second straight year and won two of four games. In regular-season conference play the Vikings were first in wins (21), walks (95), stolen bases (47), and tied for first in runs scored (202). The team was second in on-base percentage (.400), hits (266), and RBI (176).
In 2012, Augustana (32-21) qualified for the NSIC tournament and split four games. Derek Hansen was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The All-America right-handed pitcher is the first Viking drafted since 2007. He was chosen NSIC pitcher of the year and twice was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Central Region pitcher of the week.
Hansen finished the season with a 7-4 record, a 1.60 earned run average, and a school record 103 strikeouts. He held opposing teams to a .181 batting average and allowed just one home run.
Five Augustana players received NSIC honors for their play in 2012, with Goihl being named the conference’s freshman of the year.
Augustana posted a 30-24 record in 2011 and made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. After placing fifth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings, the Vikings secured a berth in the conference tournament and split four games, including a 12-2 win over Winona State the eventual Division II World Series runner-up. The two wins were the first for Augustana in conference tournament action.
The Vikings were seeded sixth in the 2011 Central Region showdown, where they lost to No.1 seed St. Cloud State and No. 2 Mesa State.
Four Vikings were selected to the All-NSIC team and two to the All-NSIC Tournament team. Three Augustana players were named to the 2011 Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association and Daktronics All-Central Region team.
Standout senior Nate Baumann, a two-time All-America selection, was chosen to the All-NSIC, All-NSIC Tournament, and All-Central Region teams. He hit a team high 13 home runs and ended his collegiate career with school records for slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, and total bases. At the conclusion of the 2011 season he was chosen to the Daktronics All-America third team.
In the last five seasons, Augustana has had 10 players, more than any team in the NSIC, compete professionally – Jack Goihl, Tony Viger, Kye Winter, Jordan Milbrath, Derek Hansen, Charlie Dubanoski, Casey Jacobson, Drew Heithoff, Nate Baumann and Bret Severtson.
Huber has been known for his hitting expertise. Everywhere he has coached, the hitters have broken numerous school records and ranked at the top of the conference. Augustana led the NSIC in hitting in 2010 with a .352 average. In 2011 Augustana led the league in slugging percentage (.472), and was first in doubles and home runs.
In 2010 the Vikings were third in home runs (48), and fourth in slugging percentage (.446), hits (481) and doubles (90).
Huber's 2010 team rolled to 34 wins, to that point the most victories in program history. His squad also picked up a laundry list of accolades. Baumann and Deryk Marks both earned All-America second team honors from both Rawlings/ABCA and Daktronics. The two also claimed All-Central Region honors from the same organizations. Additionally, Baumann was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year, while Marks was tabbed conference’s Newcomer of the Year. Huber also had five players named All-NSIC in 2010.
Huber posted a 27-23 record in 2009, his inaugural season. That year the Vikings were one of six teams to make the NSIC postseason tournament after being picked to finish 11th in the preseason coaches’ poll.
Huber came to Augustana after four successful years as the head coach at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minn. In his four seasons, Huber posted a 98-71-1 record. The Blue Knights’ record improved each season under Huber’s guidance. After inheriting a team that went 5-30 the season before his arrival, Huber led the Blue Knights to a 19-20-1 record in 2005. He followed that by directing DCTC to a 23-17 record in 2006. The team finished fourth in the Minnesota Community College Conference, and he was named the MCCC Southern Division Coach of the Year.
In 2007, Huber led DCTC to a 25-18 record before guiding the Blue Knights to another improved campaign, posting a 31-16 record in 2008. DCTC was ranked in the top 15 in the national rankings, finished third at the state tournament and advanced to the regional tournament during the 2008 season. At regionals, the Blue Knights lost in the championship game and were one win shy of advancing to the College World Series.
Prior to DCTC, Huber spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons as an assistant coach at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minn. Working with the hitters and outfielders, SMSU led the NSIC in batting average, hits, doubles, total bases and RBIs during the 2003 season. Those totals all ranked among the top three single-season totals in SMSU history. As a result, seven Mustang hitters were named All-NSIC.
Huber enjoyed a stellar playing career at Minnesota State from 1997 to 2001. The outfielder was a two-time All-North Central Conference selection (1999 and 2001) and was an All-Central Region first team selection in 2001. The Mavericks won NCC titles in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001. He still ranks high on many of the Mavericks’ career hitting charts.
A native of Belle Plaine, Minn., Huber graduated from MSU in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in sport management. He earned a master’s degree in educational leadership with a physical education emphasis from SMSU in 2004.
Huber and his wife, Paula, live in Sioux Falls.