Justin Huisman has been the head coach of the baseball program for the past two seasons. He took over in 2010-11 after working as an assistant coach for his brother Jason for one year. In his two seasons with at the helm he has posted a 42-50 overall record. In his first season he led the Trolls to a 19-25 overall record and applied his pitching expertise to help the team set a school record for lowest season ERA at 4.32. Last year the team finished with a 23-25 record and broke the school’s regular season win record. In that year they also set team season records in hits, runs, RBIs, sacrifices, and pitching strikeouts. At the conclusion of the 2012 season Huisman had one of his players participate in the Northwoods League.
Huisman entered the coaching realm after spending eight seasons pitching in the professional system from 2000-2007. In the 2005-06 off-season he served as an assistant coach at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois, while continuing to work out himself. In 2008 Huisman sustained an injury that prevented him from continuing his playing career and allowed him to join the coaching staff at Trinity.
Huisman played at the University of Mississippi from 1997 to 2000, where he earned honors as an infielder and a closer. At Ole Miss he broke the single-season saves record in his sophomore year and surpassed his own mark the next year. He also broke the career saves records. Huisman earned All-American honorable mention honors as a third baseman in his freshman year.
After his junior year at Ole Miss, Huisman was drafted in the 15th round of the 2000 amateur draft by Colorado. In four seasons and jumping four levels with the Rockies, he put up an ERA of 1.86, 1.70, 1.57, and 1.75, respectively. Huisman notched 30 saves in Low-A, 22 saves in High-A, and 26 saves in AA (a new Tulsa record). For those years he made the All-Star team for the South Atlantic, Carolina, and Texas Leagues. In 2003 Baseball America added him to their All-Star team for all of the AA levels, thus leading him to be traded to Kansas City in 2004. Though starting out in AAA Omaha for the Royals, Huisman was quickly called up to the big leagues and made his major league debut on April 25th. He went on to pitch 25 innings for Kansas City that season. Before his injury, Huisman posted three more quality seasons in AAA and one stellar season in Independent League in Newark, New Jersey. In all, he compiled an ERA under a 2.00 in five of his eight professional seasons; leading to a career minor-league ERA of 3.27. He also pitched 405 innings, giving up just 391 hits, posted 86 career saves, and had 300 strikeouts to only 144 walks.
Huisman completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Purdue University-Calumet in 2009. At Trinity, in addition to his coaching responsibilities, he is the athletics facilities coordinator. He resides in Schererville, Indiana, with his wife Julia, step-daughter Isabella, and daughter Summer.
Jason Huisman served as the head coach at Trinity for two seasons before handing the reins over to his younger brother Justin. In his first season with the Trolls the team was 12-30, but in his second year he doubled the roster size and improved to a 20-24 overall record.
Huisman played his high school career at Thornwood High School in South Holland, Illinois, and was named Illinois Baseball Player of the Year in 1994. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth round, but went on to play at the University of Mississippi. At Ole Miss he played shortstop under former Chicago Cub shortstop and White Sox manager Don Kessinger and had a successful four years in which he set single-season school records for home runs (21) and RBIs (71).
Upon graduation in 1998 from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 14th round and played in their organization for five years. In the profession ranks he finished with a .279 batting average, 26 home runs, and 231 RBIs.
In 2006 Huisman became an assistant coach at Concordia University-Chicago. He spent three years there before coming to Trinity as head coach in the 2008-09 season. In the past few years he has been active in managing youth baseball camps and clinics.
Huisman is the Village Administrator of South Holland, Illinois. He and his wife, Kathleen, and three children, Cullen, Emmeline, and Lacey, reside in Merrillville, Indiana.
Wally Widelski joined the coaching staff in the 2009 season. He works with the outfielders as well as helps as a bench coach and in recruiting. Widelski has worked with the Huismans before and was also a former teammate of Jason’s at Thornwood High School.
Widelski graduated from the University of Notre Dame (IN) in 1997 with a degree in communications. He pitched for the Fighting Irish, helping the team to three regular season conference titles and two NCAA regional appearances. Upon graduation Widelski served as a pitching coach at Northern Illinois University while earning a master’s degree in Sports Management. Over the past few years he has been on the coaching staff at Notre Dame, at Bethel College (IN), with the Gary South Shore RailCats of the Northern League of Professional Baseball, and most recently at Concordia University (2006) and Moraine Valley Community College (2007).
Braden Kapteyn has joined the coaching staff for the 2012-13 season and adds more professional baseball expertise to Trinity’s coaching staff. Kapteyn is currently a relief pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization after being drafted in the 15th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft. For the past 2011 and 2012 season he has been with the Lowell Spinners in the New York-Penn League.
Kapteyn was drafted after three successful years as a two-way player at the University of Kentucky. In the 2011 season for the Wildcats he batted .300 with 42 runs and led the team with 42 RBIs. He also had a 7-3 record on the mound with eight saves and 91 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings pitched. At Kentucky Kapteyn was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. In addition he earned Cape Cod Summer League All-Star honors in 2010 as a relief pitcher.
Prior to his college days, Kapteyn was a standout athlete at Illiana Christian High School in Lansing, Illinois. At Illiana he earned all-conference MVP and all-state honors and was named the Chicagoland High School Player of the Year. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 39th Amateur Round Draft in 2008, but bypassed that opportunity to play at Kentucky.
Kapteyn is married to Natalie and has a daughter Ellie. His brother Wade Kapteyn, who has also been on Trinity’s coaching staff, spent one year in the Detroit Tigers system after competing for three years as a starting pitcher at the University of Evansville.