Josh Keim is coming home.
The former Black Hawk College baseball player will return to his alma mater Aug. 1 as the college’s new head baseball coach and academic success coach.
“I am thrilled to hand the reigns of this program over to Coach Keim,” said Arnie Chavera, interim athletic director.
Chavera has continued to serve as the college’s head baseball coach since being named interim athletic director effective July 1, 2019. He is stepping down from his coaching duties June 30 to become the permanent director of athletics and community recreation and needed to find his coaching replacement.
Keim, a Rock Island High School grad, rose to the top of the 73 applications.
Chavera said Keim stood out because of his junior college playing experience and his understanding of the challenges of junior college baseball.
“He has excellent coaching experience at the collegiate level and has demonstrated high organizational skills,” Chavera said.
Keim played middle infield and pitcher for the Braves in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Both teams finished in the Top 10 in national polls and were conference and sectional champions. Keim also was a two-time Academic All-Conference athlete.
After earning his Associate in Arts degree, he transferred to Illinois State University and played there for one year. He then transferred to St. Joseph’s College (IN) to finish his playing career and a bachelor’s degree in sports management.
Keim moved on to head assistant coach at Quincy University (IL) from 2015-19 where he also completed a master’s degree in leadership education. Since 2019, he has been head assistant coach at St. Leo University (FL). This is his second summer as manager of the Rockford Rivets in the Northwoods League developmental college league.
Chavera has laid out some impressive goals for his new coach:
- To help student-athletes excel in the classroom and on the field at Black Hawk College.
- To prepare players to succeed academically and athletically at the four-year level.
- To win the Arrowhead Athletic Conference each year.
- To be the first BHC team to qualify for the Junior College World Series.
“He is a class act young man and will be a tremendous mentor to our student-athletes,” Chavera said.
“I will enjoy watching him grow as a head coach and leader, while he builds upon the BHC tradition of winning and moving players onto the next level.”