A veteran coach at both the Division I and community-college ranks, Blake Kangas joined the Kansas State staff in August 2012 as an assistant coach and helped hitting coach Mike Clement direct one of the most dangerous offenses in college baseball during the 2013 season.
Kangas, who also works with the team's outfielders, helped lead the Wildcats to a No. 2 national ranking in batting average at .322, while the Wildcats also ranked in the top 10 nationally in six other categories. Kangas, who helped the Wildcats host their first-ever NCAA Regional helped guide Ross Kivett to Big 12 Player of the Year accolades, while seven hitters earned All-Big 12 honors, including six that were named to the first team.
Kangas came to Manhattan after serving as the hitting coach at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., for the previous four seasons, directing the Golden Eagle offense to top offensive rankings in the state of California each year. A former player at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kangas helped Feather River achieve 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.
Kangas guided Feather River to the top batting average in the state of California each of his final 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.
Prior to his stint at Feather River, Kangas was on the staff at his alma mater, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, for three seasons. During the 2008 season, he helped the Panthers finish fourth in the country in doubles, while two players placed in the top 10 nationally in that department. Milwaukee also finished 16th nationally in hits and led the Horizon Conference in runs, hits, doubles, RBI and walks.
Kangas also has experience coaching collegiate summer baseball as he was an assistant coach for the Herndon Braves in the Cal Ripken Senior Collegiate Baseball League in 2008. The next summer, Kangas helped guide the Bourne Braves to a championship season in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
An all-conference player at Madison (Wis.) Area Technical College, Kangas hit .313 with 10 home runs and 70 RBI over two seasons before transferring to Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He was a two-year letterwinner for the Panthers, hitting .304 during his senior season with two homers and 14 RBI while also seeing time on the mound.
A native of Rochester, Minn., Kangas comes from a baseball background as his father, Keith, was a pitcher at Iowa State from 1975-78, while he was the National High School Coach of the Year in 2003 and has won multiple American Legion World Series and Minnesota High School State Championship titles. Also, his brother, Alex, was a standout hockey player at the University of Minnesota and was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the fifth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Kangas completed his bachelor's degree in middle childhood through early adolescence education in 2007 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he recently earned his master's degree in coaching and athletic administration.