Mike Pankow begins his third season as the Owl's Head Baseball Coach. Under his tenure the UMPI Baseball team has seen improvment. An influx of young talent helped double the win total from 2014 to 2015. The team saw improvements in all aspects, and continue to grow. "With so many young players learning what it was to be an NCAA athlete, we did some very positive things, " said Pankow. "I look for continued growth out of this group, and the strong leadership from our veteran players to help this program take the next step into what should be great things for this program."
A native of Hortonville, Wisconsin, Pankow competed on both the baseball and basketball teams at Northland College (Ashland, WI) 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 retired in 2014 with a career record of 586-160.
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 LumberJack 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.
In 2013 Northland finished 16-14 and qualified for the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) championship tournament. 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.
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.
Coach Pankow graduated in 2005 from Northland College with a degree in Physical Education.