UPDATE: Rivets Manager Keim Named Head Coach at Black Hawk College
LOVES PARK, IL — Josh Keim returns for his second season as manager. A Rock Island native, Keim is a former all-conference player at St. Joseph’s College where he logged 100 hits in two seasons. He also played at Black Hawk College and Illinois State University. Before coming to Rockford, Keim spent four seasons as the head assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois. His teams posted a 149-79 record during his tenure, earning Top-10 national rankings while reaching the NCAA Tournament in all four years.
After guiding the Rivets to a 33-39 mark last year in the Northwoods League Great Lakes East Division, Keim is excited about being back on the field after a long offseason. “We are excited about most of the guys we have coming to Rockford. Look for Jimmy Burnette, Carson Seymour and Jarret Olson to have solid summers on the mound,” Keim said. “Branden Comia, Jeff Heinrich, Ryan Hampe, and Bobby Seymour are huge additions to the offense.”
Like ball clubs across the nation, Rockford is starting its 2020 campaign more than a month late because of the coronavirus pandemic, something Keim says players and coaches are overcoming.
“There have been many unknowns throughout the pandemic of whether we would even get the chance to play this summer,” he said. “Guys will be rusty and it will take some time to get their legs back, but we will play hard. Our biggest goals for the team are to stay healthy, develop, and leave better than when they showed up to Rockford.”
Keim will again be assisted by pitching coach Adam Carey and hitting coach TJ Marik. Carey earned three varsity letters at Central College (Iowa), where he also works with Dutch pitchers. Marik is a former NCAA Division I student-athlete at both Austin Peay University and Northern Kentucky University. He served as the first base coach at Saint Leo University in Florida, this past season, a campaign cut short because of the pandemic. Marik spent last season as an assistant at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Keim said while there have been many unknowns throughout the pandemic, including whether Rockford would even take the field this summer, the Rivets have tried not to miss a beat in their offseason training. “We have made sure our guys are prepared no matter what as if we were going to play July 1.”
Josh Keim is going home. He will return to his alma mater to lead the Black Hawk College baseball program as the head coach and academic success coach. “I am thrilled to hand the reigns of this program over to Coach Keim,” said Arnie Chavera, the Black Hawk College interim athletic director. He will take over August 1st.
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.
“He is a class act young man and will be a tremendous mentor to our student-athletes,” Chavera said.
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rockfordrivets.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rivets as your favorite team.