Travis Akre is new ECC Panther baseball coach
Ellsworth Community College’s new head baseball coach, Travis Akre, is glad to be back in Iowa Falls, where he’s handling a bit of last-minute recruiting to fill a couple of areas on the team and then looking forward to students’ arrival in mid-August for the start of fall term.
“I’m excited to be back here because it’s always felt like ‘home,’” Akre explains. “This is a great college with lots of good things going on right now. The campus is absolutely beautiful, and some summer remodeling projects are taking it to an even higher level, I think. The future is just so bright for Ellsworth!”
A native of Decorah, Coach Akre comes to Ellsworth Community College after two successful seasons as an assistant at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. The Fighting Artichokes qualified for the NJCAA DII World Series both years Coach Akre was there; in 2012 they finished the year ranked 8th and in 2013 finished ranked 4th in the country.
“Coach Akre is a great hire for us because he’s familiar with Ellsworth, he knows baseball, and he’s coming from a great winning baseball program in Arizona,” says Nate Forsyth, ECC Director of Athletics and Student Life. “He’s already hit the ground running and our players are looking forward to working with him this fall.”
Coach Akre says the ECC Panther baseball roster is right where he’d like it to be at this time of year. This fall the Panthers will scrimmage with some local colleges and spend time on fundamentals. “It’s a big transition from high school to college, so we’ll be working on that with our incoming freshmen,” says Akre. “They’ll learn to practice a new way and we’ll be creating our team identity as a group. For the sophomores some things will be different, but they’ll handle it.”
Over the course of his career, Coach Akre has coached 10 players who have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. This past season at Scottsdale he coached two MLB draftees (3rd and 22nd round), a 1st Team All American, a National Gold Glove winner, and five All Region players, and the team took Region and District Championship honors. In 2012 he coached a 3rd team All American, a National Gold Glove winner, and three All Region players; the team was also District Champion that year.
Coach Akre played at Anoka Ramsey Community College in 1999 and Ellsworth Community College in 2000. After completing his junior college eligibility, he finished his playing career at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN.
Coach Akre started his coaching career in in Winona, MN, in 1998, when he reformed a youth program, the Goodview traveling program, and then coached seven years with the Winona VFW baseball team. In 2003 he started his collegiate coaching at Ellsworth Community College where, in 2005, he took the helm as Ellsworth Head Softball Coach. The program had its first winning season since 1979 that year, finishing 25-20, along with wins over the 6th, 8th, and 10th ranked teams in the country and three All Conference players. Following that successful season, he moved on to Winona State University as an assistant baseball coach, where he worked with the NSIC Player of the Year, NSIC Newcomer of the Year, and seven All Conference performers.
Coach Akre then moved to Arizona and took over the Salt River High School program from 2007-2010. During that time, he guided the team to its first state tournament, first state tournament win, and most wins in a season. In 2008, he started coaching in the Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League, and in 2009 became the Vice President of Operations, a position he continues to hold today.
Akre graduated from Winona Senior High School in Winona, MN. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Education/Exercise Science from Buena Vista University, and currently resides in Iowa Falls. In addition to his head baseball coaching responsibilities, he is working as an Admissions Counselor for Ellsworth Community College.