Nike Baseball Camp Northern Illinois University
Improve your game and have serious fun
at Nike Baseball Camps
Join us for Nike Baseball Camp at the beautiful Northern Illinois University this summer and receive high-level instruction from the Huskies coaching staff. NIU Baseball Head Coach, Michael Kunigonis will lead camp instruction and camp will be held at Ralph McKinzie Field. Campers will train in all areas of the game - hitting, fielding, base running, and team play. Join the fun and take your game to the next level!
- Nike Sports Camp T-Shirt, Wristband, Sticker, and Potentially Other Prizes!
- Professional Instruction from Coach Michael Kunigonis and Staff
- Daily Emphasis on Fundamental Development and Team Play
- Players Grouped by Age and Ability
- Low Camper to Coach Ratios
- Excellent Training Facilities
- View More Details ⟩
Head Coach Mike Kunigonis
Mike Kunigonis has brought a grinder’s mentality and work ethic to the NIU baseball program. 2022 marked his eighth season in DeKalb leading the Huskies.View Mike's Bio ⟩
The Huskies went 14-40 in 2022, splitting three of its last four MAC series. NIU had a flair for the dramatic, winning four games in walk-off fashion and having 16 games decided by three runs or less.
NIU went 7-10 in the 2020 season, which was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic that March. The Huskies earned their second win over an ACC program in three years with a 12-3 win over Boston College in Florida. NIU's pitching staff was third in the MAC in strikeouts with 139. In the first season back from the pandemic, NIU went 16-38 in 2021.
In 2019, Kunigonis led NIU to the Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament where the Huskies reached the semifinals and won two games for the first time since 2008. NIU was 20-36 on the season and compiled a 14-12 MAC record, tied for the third-most conference wins in program history. On May 11, Kunigonis won his 100th career game as the Huskies shutout Toledo 4-0.
The Huskies went 20-36 in 2018, highlighted by a 5-3 win at Notre Dame on March 20 for the program's first win over the Fighting Irish since 1995. In 2017, Kunigonis led NIU to a 17-38 overall record and a 11-13 record in the Mid-American Conference. NIU hit for a combined .248 average with a .327 slugging percentage and got on base at a .358 clip. The Huskies averaged eight hits and 4.45 runs per game.
Kunigonis laid the “Huskieball” foundation for his program right away, during his first season in 2015, as the Huskies swept its opening weekend with a pair of wins over South Dakota State and another over Niagara. NIU would go on to finish the season 22-33, recording a 10-17 mark in Mid-American Conference play. The team improved its batting average by 32 points in Kunigonis’ first season and scored 1.24 more runs per game. The Huskies swept their midweek series with UIC, defeating the in-state foe home and away. NIU won 24 games in 2016, going 14-10 in the MAC West to finish second behind Ball State. The Huskies won seven straight games at the end of April into May that season, highlighted by a sweep of Bowling Green in which NIU outscored the Falcons 28-4 with back-to-back shutouts to close the series.
Kunigonis, a veteran Division I coach who spent seven years on the staff at Virginia Tech, was named head coach of the Northern Illinois University baseball program on January 5, 2015.
In seven years at Virginia Tech, Kunigonis worked his way up from volunteer assistant coach (2008-10), to assistant coach (2010-13) before being named associate head coach and recruiting coordinator his final two seasons ago. The Hokies twice advanced to the NCAA Regionals during his time in Blacksburg, earning a No. 1 seed and regional host bid in 2013 when they finished as Atlantic Coast Conference runners-up. He served as Virginia Tech’s hitting coach from 2010-15, and the Hokies ranked among the country’s top offenses in each of those seasons. Tech had the top offense in the ACC in 2014 and ranked in the top 25 nationally in five offensive categories in 2013. The 2011 Virginia Tech team ranked in the top 10 nationally in multiple categories as well.
Over his six seasons, the Hokies had 20 players chosen in the MLB draft, with at least two players drafted each year. In 2010, eight Virginia Tech players were drafted, while six Hokies were selected in the 2013 draft. During Kunigonis’ time with the Hokies, nine position players were chosen in the draft.
Prior to Virginia Tech, Kunigonis spent one season on the staff at Radford University in Virginia, where he coached the outfielders, worked with the hitters and directed the camps.
Kunigonis’ experience includes five seasons at two institutions in western New York. He was the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Canisius College in Buffalo during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons, where he also coached the hitters, catchers and outfielders and was also on the staff at Niagara University in a similar capacity for two seasons. Both teams advanced to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament during Kunigonis’ time in their dugouts.
As a player, Kunigonis played four seasons at American International College. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Kunigonis earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology from AIC in 2001, and completed his master’s degree in sports administration at Canisius in 2006.
He is the Huskies’ fifth head baseball coach since the program was resurrected in 1991 and the 14th since the team’s first season in 1900.
Assistant Coach Luke Stewart
Luke Stewart enters his seventh season as an assistant coach for the NIU Baseball program.View Luke's Bio ⟩
Stewart began his coaching career at Illinois after getting drafted by the New York Mets in the 20th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft following a successful baseball career at UAB.
A former Georgia transfer, Stewart wrapped up his three-year stint at UAB with 49 career home runs, which is tied for the most in program history. The Normal, Ill., native hit 21 of those homers as a senior in 2010 on his way to first-team All-Conference USA honors.
A career .288 hitter, Stewart started 165 games over his three years at UAB and spent the past two seasons as the Blazers' everyday first baseman. His 167 career RBI rank fourth at UAB, while his 127 walks rank second in school annals.
Stewart began his collegiate baseball career at Georgia in 2007 and played one year before transferring to UAB. He graduated from UAB with a communications degree in 2013 and began assisting the Illini this fall.
Assistant Coach Josh Pethoud
After three seasons as a volunteer assistant coach, Josh Pethoud was named an assistant coach for the NIU baseball team in the summer of 2021. He will work primarily with the Huskies' pitching staff.View Josh's Bio ⟩
Pethoud joined the NIU baseball staff in 2019. In his first season the Huskies reached the Mid-American Conference Tournament for the third time in four seasons after posting a 14-12 league record. NIU won two games at the tournament for the first time since 2008. In 2021, NIU had a pair of All-MAC selections in catcher Jake Dunham and utility player Kam Smith. It was the first time since 2017 NIU had an All-MAC selection.
Instruction will focus primarily on hitting, fielding, base-running, and game situations. You can expect high demand for these first come first serve camper spots, so please be sure to register early.
Please note: The following information may be subject to change.
- Dates: CAMP WILL NOT RUN THIS SUMMER. CHECK BACK IN 2024
- Age Group: 6-12
- Camp Type: Half Day Camp (Ages 6-8) | Day Camp (Ages 9-12)
- Schedule: Monday-Thursday | Half Day Camp 9:00am-12:00pm & Day Camp 9:00am-2:00pm
- Check-In: Begins 30 minutes prior to the camp start time.
- Meals: Lunch is not provided. Please bring a snack/lunch to camp each day.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE FEE?
- Daily Baseball Instruction
- Supervision: Campers are supervised by staff during camp hours
- Nike Sports Camp T-Shirt, Wristband, Sticker, and Potentially Other Prizes!
INSTRUCTION & FACILITY
Ratio: 1:10 staff to camper ratio
Groupings: Campers are initially grouped by age and moved around accordingly based on skill level.
Facility: Outdoor Fields. Indoor facilities are available during inclement weather conditions.
PREPARE FOR CAMP: COMPLETE YOUR PRE-CAMP CHECKLIST
To view your customer account, complete your mandatory forms, pay balance dues, and review important camp information, visit Pre-Camp Checklist.
All necessary camp information is on this page. If there are any imperative changes prior to camp start, registered campers will be notified via email and this webpage will be updated!
CHECKLIST OF THINGS TO BRING:
Below is a suggested list of clothes, equipment and personal items. US Sports Camps is NOT responsible for lost or stolen articles or money.
Small gym bag/backpack
Athletic clothing: t-shirt, shorts, baseball pants (recommended)
Cleats & sneakers
Catchers gear (if applicable)
Packed lunch and snacks
Most camps have an athletic trainer on-site to help with illness or injury. In case of an emergency, campers will be transported to the nearest hospital.
Nike Baseball Camps does not provide transportation from airports, train stations or bus depots. If you have a child flying to camp, please arrange a shuttle or taxi service.
If you have a group of campers registering for the same camp, each camper is eligible for a discount. Please have someone contact the US Sports Camps office at 1-800-645-3226 with the names of each camper in the group and we will create a unique discount code for your group. Campers may then register individually through the website at their convenience and apply the offer code during checkout. *Discount amount varies by program. Please call for details.
For information regarding our cancellation policy and all other company policies, please visit USSC Policies.
NIKE BASEBALL CAMP FAQ
For general questions about our baseball camps please see our FAQ page.
Director's Note to Campers
"It goes without saying we are all excited to be back on campus for a great week of camp. This instructional camp is for players of all ability levels and is run to get the very best out of each and every player. Players will be exposed to a high level of instruction by our camp staff made up of NIU Coaches, current and former collegiate student-athletes. Our goal is for each young player to walk out of camp with more knowledge, experience, and passion for the game of baseball than what they walked in with. We look forward to having you at camp!!!" -Coach KShow Less See More Camp Details
Camps are open to any and all entrants, limited only by number, age, grade level and/or gender.
Walt and Janice Owens Park at Ralph McKinzie Field
A new aluminum grandstand and press box facilities were added during the 1993 season and the following year fencing was constructed to close off the perimeter of the facility. Among other improvements made to McKinzie Field were portable batting cages, a newly-updated and enhanced field watering system, and a new shed that tripled storage capacity.
McKinzie Field is the third baseball home for the Huskies. NIU's first two facilities were on the west bank of the Kishwaukee River, where the Visual Arts Building presently stands, and at the "North 40" area near Anderson Hall.
July 21, 2022: Working with college players and coaches. My son loved the scrimmage tournament.
he looks forward to it every year
SECURE YOUR SPOT – CAMPS SELL OUT!
Last year over 650 Sports Camps sold out, leaving 7,000+ campers on the waitlist. Due to high demand, early registration for our first-come-first-serve camps is strongly recommended.