Presque Isle, Maine – University of Maine-Presque Isle Interim Athletic Director Paul Stone has announced Mike Pankow as the new UMPI Head Baseball Coach. A native of Hortonville, Wisconsin, Pankow comes to Presque Isle following a two-year stint as assistant baseball and basketball coach at NCAA DIII Northland College. Last season Northland finished 16-14 and qualified for the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) championship tournament.
"We are excited to have Mike make the commitment to lead our Baseball Program and join the UMPI community. He brings passion, baseball knowledge and a background of improving the programs he is associated with to our campus." – Paul Stone
Pankow brings a wealth of coaching experience to a UMPI baseball program that has taken great strides in the past several years. In his time at Northland, five players were All-UMAC First team selections, six more were named honorable mention All-UMAC and 19 earned All-Academic recognition.
"It is a great honor to be chosen to be the next Head Coach for the Owl's Baseball Program. I cannot thank President Schott, Athletic Director Paul Stone, and the entire search committee enough for their tireless effort and due diligence in the process," said Pankow. "I am excited to be a part of the friendly Presque Isle community and family atmosphere of the Staff."
Pankow competed on both the baseball and basketball teams at Northland College from 1999-2003 and before that, was a member of the Hortonville High School baseball program that won 53 consecutive games and went undefeated, winning the 1997 and 1998 Wisconsin AA State Championships. Pankow played for Legendary Wisconsin Baseball Hall of Famer, Don Williams, who is the winningest active head coach in the Wisconsin high school baseball coaching ranks, with a career record of 542-153.
Upon completion of his playing career, Coach Pankow worked for two years as an Assistant Coach with the Northland College Men's Basketball Program from 2003 to 2005. During that time, he also took over as the Head Baseball Coach at Washburn High School. Coach Pankow then spent three years in the White Lake School District where he served as the Athletic Director, Head Baseball Coach, Girl's Head Basketball Coach, and Physical Education Teacher.
Northland called again and Pankow returned to the collegiate coaching ranks in 2010-11, when he became the Assistant Women's Basketball Coach in addition to serving as Assistant Baseball Coach. During Pankows' tenure, the Lumber Jack Baseball Program saw an increase in wins from 10 in 2011 to 15 in 2013-the most successful season for the Northland Nine since 2006. In addition, the roster grew from 11 to an all-time Northland record of 26 student-athletes in that same time period.
"Mike is a great person and he is very adept at building positive relationships with players as well as prospective student-athletes. He is dedicated to the coaching profession and although he is knowledgeable, he is still always willing to learn more," said Northland College Athletic Director and Head Women's Basketball Coach Bill Wilson. "UMPI got a good one in Mike!"
"Coach Pankow was a huge asset for our program at Northland College. His knowledge of the game and his ability to communicate and relate to our players was a valuable key to our success," said former Northland and current Carroll University Head Baseball Coach Stein Rear. "I am very excited for Mike and am very confident that he will do a tremendous job at UMPI."
Active in the community, Pankow has coached in the Hortonville American Legion program since 2005, with his teams qualifying for the 16U State Tournament in 2007. He was invited to be a part of the coaching staffs of the Fox River Valley League All-Star Game in 2009 and 2013 and also the State Legion All-Star Game in Miller Park in 2011.
"The student-athletes in the UMPI program have shown a true passion for the game of baseball and I am eager to work with them," stated the new mentor of the Blue & Gold Baseball Program who will have a meeting with all students interested in playing Baseball on Thursday, September 19th at 7pm in Weiden Hall.