Mike Hampton enters his 24th season as head softball coach at Iowa Wesleyan University. Hampton is a member of the USCAA National Coaches Committee, and is entering his second year as the Chairperson of the committee.
Hampton has posted a 589-557-1 mark in 23 seasons at IWU and owns a 1,254-1,159-1 career record in 52 seasons coaching softball at the college and high school levels. At the collegiate level, he was named Midwest Classic (now Midwest Collegiate) Conference Coach of the Year in 1997, guided Iowa Wesleyan to four consecutive conference championships from 1996-99, and earned NAIA regional tournament berths in 1997,1998,1999, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2007.
Three seasons ago, Hampton led the Tigers to a fourth place finish at the USCAA Softball National Championships. Iowa Wesleyan’s Jillian Leutscher was named to the USCAA All-Tournament team at the National Championships under Hampton’s guidance as well.
Hampton reached one of the high points in his college career during the 2011 season, leading Wesleyan to a surprising appearance in the NAIA Softball National Championships. The Tigers finished seventh in the MCC in the regular season but went on a stunning run through the two rounds of the conference tournament, winning six of seven games and winning the MCC Tournament and the conference’s automatic berth to the national tournament. IWC qualified for nationals with a 18-33 overall record, finishing the season with wins in nine of its last 11 games before losing all three games in pool play at the national tourney in Alabama. Along with making nationals, Hampton also coached the second All-American in school history (Leigha Strong) and the first since Kate Ward in 2007.
Hampton achieved a rare milestone in the spring of 2005 when he notched his 1,000th career softball coaching victory, including the high school and collegiate levels. In August of 2006, he was inducted into the Iowa Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame in honor of his high school softball coaching career. Among his other coaching honors include being named Southeast Iowa Class AA Softball Coach of the Year in 1988 and being selected by the Iowa Softball Coaches Association to coach the Iowa State High School All-Star team in 1997. Hampton also celebrated his 600th high school softball victory in 2002, and in 2008 was recognized by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for his 400 career college coaching wins.
Hampton, a 1972 graduate of IWU, is now the Director of Athletic Development and Engaement. He was previously the Athletic Director from June 1995 to December 31, 2013. Hampton was named NAIA Region VII Athletic Director of the Year for the 2001-02 school year. During 23 years of teaching in Mount Pleasant Community Schools, he took over the varsity girls track program in its second year of existence in 1973 and coached the team for 20 years. He also helped start the varsity girls basketball program as an assistant in 1974, and started the Panther softball program during the 1976-77 season. Hampton also was a teacher at MPCHS for a number of years and finally stepped down from his Mount Pleasant softball post after the 2006 season, compiling a 665-602 record in 29 seasons with the Panthers.
Hampton has been a registered girl’s and boy’s high school basketball official for 39 years and has worked a number postseason tournament games. He has also taught basketball officiating at IWU for 11 years. His officiating capabilities have led to his selection into the Iowa Girls High School Coaches Association Basketball Officials Hall of Fame in 2005. In April 2007 he was also a member of the first induction class into the Southeast Iowa Officials Hall of Fame.
Hampton and his wife Anita (also an IWU graduate and former alumni director) reside in Mount Pleasant. They have three children, sons Lance and Beau and daughter Michal. They also have seven grandchildren.
Kali Hills returns to the Tiger softball program to begin her second season as assistant coach. Kali first joined the Tiger softball program as assistant coach in 2012.
Hills rejoins the Iowa Wesleyan softball program after a three year hiatus to earn her master’s degree in Sport Management from Western Illinois University.
Kali is a native of Fruitland, IA and a 2011 graduate of IWU with a degree in Psychology. As a member of the Iowa Wesleyan softball team, she was part of the 2011 team that won the Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament championship and advanced to the NAIA National Championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She was also named an NAIA Champion of Character in 2008 and 2011. Also in 2011, she was named as a National Fast Pitch Coaches Association All-American Scholar-Athlete.