Kunigonis out as head baseball coach


Sean Reed

Junior catcher Colin Summerhill (left) approaches NIU Baseball Head Coach Mike Kunigonis in the dugout during the team’s game against Toledo Sunday at Ralph McKinzie Field. The game was Kunigonis’ last as a head coach at NIU, after his contract was not renewed and he was relieved from his position. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Alex Crowe, Assistant Sports Editor

DeKALB – NIU Vice President and Director of Athletics Sean Frazier announced Sunday that head coach Mike Kunigonis’ contract will not be renewed and has been relieved of coaching duties, effective immediately. 

The announcement comes after the University of Toledo completed a series sweep over NIU baseball Sunday. The defeat marked the team’s 10th straight conference loss and 15th over the last 16 games. 

Kunigonis and the Huskies have struggled to a 4-19 MAC record and 8-38 overall record this season. The Huskies have won just 22 of their last 100 games over the last two seasons. 

Kunigonis led the Huskies to three MAC Tournaments in his nine seasons. The Huskies had back-to-back appearances in 2016 and 2017, but failed to win a game. NIU and Kunigonis returned to the tournament in 2019 with a MAC record of 14-12 and appeared in the semifinals. 

The Huskies only finished with a positive conference record twice in 2016 and 2019 and never held a positive overall record in Kunigonis’ nine seasons. 

Assistant coach Luke Stewart will take over coaching duties through the remaining seven games. 

NIU Athletics is starting its search for a new baseball coach immediately.