Head Coach Aaron Rushing (ninth season)
Record at Carleton: 108-185 (eight years)
Career Record: 121-213 (nine years)
The 2014 season marks Aaron Rushing’s ninth as Carleton’s head baseball coach, entering the year second in program history in victories, only six wins shy of legendary coach Mel Taube.
Carleton baseball began in 1882, and in the 120 years prior to Rushing’s arrival on campus, the team totaled 10-plus triumphs only 14 times, a feat accomplished in each of the last seven campaigns under Rushing’s direction. He has guided the Knights to four of the top seven win totals in program history.
The 2013 season saw more success for Rushing and the Knights, as freshman Hayden Tsutsui was tabbed to the All-MIAC squad and named MIAC Rookie-of-the-Year. Tsutsui was named to two All-Region squads, and was also selected as the 2013 D3baseball.com national Rookie-of-the-Year. Pitcher Kevin Johnson was also named to the 2013 MIAC All-Defensive Team.
Formerly an assistant baseball and football coach at his alma mater, Grinnell College (Iowa), Rushing brings a wide variety of experiences to Carleton’s baseball program.
In his only year as head coach at Minot State University, he inherited a team that had only six wins the previous season. Under Rushing’s direction, that squad won the conference tournament and qualified for the regional tournament for the first time since the Minot State program was resurrected in 1988.
He also served as pitching and catching coach for two summers with the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Catz, a summer collegiate team in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. Rushing’s pitching staff set a Catz record with a 2.23 ERA, helping them to the 2003 ACBL regular season and tournament championships. Ten pitchers and two catchers from those teams went on to play professionally.
A 2001 graduate of Grinnell with a degree in economics, Rushing was a pitcher and catcher for the Pioneers and captained the two winningest teams in school history. Following his collegiate career, Rushing played baseball for a season in France, pitching and playing infield for the Toulouse Tigers. He earned his master’s degree in management from Minot State in 2004.
During Rushing’s tenure, the Knights boast 28 academic All-MIAC players, 11 All-MIAC players, four All-Region players, four academic all-district players, a Fulbright Scholar, and an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar.
Rushing, an associate professor in the physical education, athletics, and recreation department at Carleton, and his wife, Naomi, live in Northfield with their daughter, Bella, and son, Tori.
Assistant Coach Jim Christensen (17th season)
Jim Christensen moves into his 17th season on the baseball coaching staff. A longtime Carleton assistant football coach, he graduated from St. Olaf College, where he played both football and baseball. Christensen is a local insurance representative as well as an experienced high school and college basketball official. He was a pitcher and outfielder for the Northfield Millers, a local amateur age 35-and-over ball club that captured the 1997 and 1998 state championships.
Assistant Coach Neal Jeppson (ninth season)
This is Neal Jeppson's ninth year as hitting coach for the Knights. Jeppson retired after 29 seasons as head coach at Burnsville (Minn.) High School. His long, successful tenure was recently recognized by his induction into by the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.