Jun 2, 2011 10:56 PM by Lee Douglas/USAFA
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Mike Kazlausky was named Air Force baseball head coach Thursday. Kazlausky retired from active duty, effective June 1, and his interim tag was lifted to official head coach status. Kazlausky signed a three-year contract through the 2014 season.
Kazlausky retired with the rank of major after 20 years of meritorious service with the U.S. Air Force. As the interim head coach in 2011, Kazlausky led the Falcons to a 19-36 overall record, leading the program to the most wins since 2002. The 19 wins were also the second-most in school history against Division I opponents and the most Division I wins by a first-year head coach at the Academy.
"This is my school and no one is more proud than I to have gone through the Academy and to have served for twenty years in the Air Force," Kazlausky said. "I look forward to having the opportunity to continue to represent our United States Air Force Academy! It is a tremendous honor and a privilege to be associated with the Academy and the Air Force as the Head Baseball Coach. I have a great understanding of all the pillars at the Academy, and I truly understand the mission of the Academy and the Air Force. Our job, as a staff, is to ensure success not only on the baseball field but in all facets of the Academy and that each young man is ready to lead our great country upon graduation!"
Kazlausky, known as "Coach Kaz" is a 1991 Academy graduate and has logged six years as an assistant coach at the Academy. He is the first Academy graduate to become head baseball coach at Air?Force and was the program's first military coach since 1988.
As one of the most inspirational and emotional players to ever wear the Air Force baseball uniform, Kazlausky came to USAFA baseball as a walk-on and started all four years. At the time of his graduation, he held eight career records and still ranks among the top six in nine of the 13 offensive categories. A two-time all-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) selection, Kazlausky led the Falcons in batting in 1989 and 1991.
After a standout baseball career with the Falcons, "Kaz" spent three seasons from 1993 to 1995 as an assistant coach to former Falcon head coach Paul Mainieri, now the head skipper at LSU. During this time, the Falcons posted three consecutive winning seasons. The 1994 team led the nation in batting average, slugging percentage and triples. The 1995 team won 29 games, the second most in school history. After leaving the Academy in the summer of 1995, Kaz spent four years at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., as a pilot in the C-17 aircraft.
He later returned to the Academy in the fall of 2000 as a TG4 and T-41/C-150 evaluator pilot in the 94th Flying Training Squadron. In addition to his flight duties, he also served as the volunteer baseball coach for the Falcons as well as the Preparatory School head baseball coach. During his tenure, the 2002 Falcon team set the school record for most Div. I victories and two Falcon players were drafted into the minor leagues. Kazlausky then returned back to Charleston Air Force Base in 2004. He spent the next two and a half years as a C-17 pilot actively serving in the War on Terror, before returning to the Academy from 2006-2008 for this third tour as an assistant baseball coach. Kazlausky spent 2010 as an Air Officer Commanding (AOC) for cadet squadron 12 at the Academy.
In 2007, Kazlausky was inducted to the Lake County Hall of Fame in Lake County, Ill., for outstanding achievement. In 2008, he was inducted into the 14th Airlift Squadron Hall of Fame in Charleston, S.C.
Coach Kaz and his wife, Kris, live in Monument with their daughter, Sammy and son, Mick.