Coach Hawkins came to the varsity baseball program at Normal West H.S. as a varsity assistant coach in 1998 and over that time has helped guide them to either a Big 12 Championship or a Regional Championship in 17 of his 22 seasons with the Wildcats. In his 20 seasons as the head coach at Normal West, he has never had a losing season and Hawkins has accumulated a 518-215 overall record (.707 %) averaging 26 wins per year over his tenure. In 2017, Hawkins was inducted into the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. Normal West has earned 12 Regional Championships and has had 9 players drafted and signed by MLB organizations since 2002. As of 2019, Brock Stewart (2010 graduate) is a member of the Chicago Cubs and was named the 2016 Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Jordan Comadena (2004 graduate) is with the Pittsburgh Pirates as their bullpen catcher. Reid Birlingmair (2015 graduate) is currently in the Oakland Athletics farm system.
In addition to coaching at Normal West High School, Hawkins also coaches regularly in the Parkside Junior High baseball program in the fall and the BNBA Gold travel organization in the summer. Hawkins directs annual baseball clinics and camps throughout the winters and summers. In 2001 Hawkins took a 14U All Star team from Illinois to Havana, Cuba. In addition he has been named head coach for the Illinois Coaches Association All Star game in 2005, 2013, and 2015. In 2014 he took on an integral role in the initial conception of the annual senior All-Star game endorsed by the Illinois Coaches Association and the MCstrong Foundation.
An active member of the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association (IHSBCA), National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA), and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), he also worked through the BCA and the prestigious Baseball America publication while serving on the National High School Baseball Ranking Committee for 4 seasons as 1 of the 8 committee members to rank the top high school baseball teams in the United States. Hawkins has been a speaker at numerous events and coaching clinics including Jerry Rashid’s Midwest Coaching Clinic, the I-70 Coaching Clinic in Greenville, speaking annually to the Heartland Hawks baseball team, the Illinois Wesleyan Titan football team, and to the middle school FCA huddles.
Background about the Normal West H.S. baseball program—The Wildcat baseball program has concluded its 24th season of baseball. Normal West has a string of 23 straight winning seasons, including 12 Regional Championships and 7 Sweet 16 appearances. In addition, the Wildcats have won either a Big 12 Conference championship and/or a Regional Championship in 17 of the past 22 seasons. Since the 2000 season, Normal West has sent over 90 players off to college baseball programs across 11 different states including 22 at the Division I level.
Wildcats in the MLB Draft since 2002…
Andrew Jefferson—San Francisco Giants 2002-2004 (has 3 World Series rings as a scout with Giants)
Nate Whitney—San Diego Padres 2004-2006 (currently a member of the Chicago Cubs medical staff)
Luke Stewart—San Diego Padres 2005, New York Mets 2010-2012 (currently an assistant at NIU)
Harold Riggins—Chicago White Sox 2008, Colorado Rockies 2011-2015 (currently coaching H.S. baseball)
Jordan Comadena—Houston Astros 2009-2012 (Currently Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen catcher)
Blake Brown—Pittsburgh Pirates 2009, Atlanta Braves 2012-2015
Brock Stewart—New York Mets 2010, LA Dodgers 2014-2019, Toronto Blue Jays 2019, Chicago Cubs 2020
Adam McGinnis–Chicago White 2017. Currently coaching at Western Illinois University.
Reid Birlingmair–Oakland Athletics 2018 (currently pitching in the Athletics’ farm system)
(1992) Sophomore Coach at Lincoln H.S.
(1993 – 1995) Sophomore Coach at Olympia H.S.
(1996 & 1997) Varsity Assistant Coach at Normal Community H.S.
(1998 & 1999) Varsity Assistant Coach at Normal West H.S.
(2000 – Present) Varsity Head Coach at Normal West H.S.
Professionally/Personally: Married Karrin Bogar on December 28th, 2001. Stepson, T.J. Bogar graduated from EIU in 2014 and is currently living in New Jersey as a producer of a reality TV series on the TLC Network. Daughter Anna Klaire was born on June 17th, 2005; loves to dance and sing and attends Chiddix Junior High School.