Head varsity baseball coach Kristopher Wilken has been a staple at Bloomingdale Senior High School for the past 16 seasons after he was hired in 2006. In his tenure, Bloomingdale baseball has been immensely successful, as 65 players and counting have gone on to play beyond high school, and his team won the state championship in 2021.
This success did not just happen though, as Wilken and his staff have developed an incredible culture where players develop and grow their talents every year they are with his program.
“All 34 players in our program have unique value to our overall success. I think it’s hard for them to see that if they aren’t starters right now, … when they do get the turn to be ‘the guy,’ they appreciate the opportunity they have,” Wilken said.
Wilken is able to achieve this success through his openness to shift strategies and willingness to alter his philosophy and gameplans to best suit the skillsets of the players currently on the team. This multifaceted style of coaching has led to many successful seasons, like a playoff run to the state finals in 2014 and a dominant regular season showing two years prior. Combine those results with his own AAA baseball experience and this success makes complete sense.
While he is completely locked in on the current baseball season, he keeps up the coaching in the offseason, as he coaches the 16U summer team for Ostingers Baseball Academy and coached his stepson’s travel team until recently.
Helping players reach their goals is something that Wilken takes very seriously, and helping the players develop their character and skills are some of his favorite elements of coaching.
“When my kids come back at the break of their freshman year in college and tell me how much more prepared they were for college baseball life than their other freshman counterparts, that’s kinda my affirmation that I accomplished my goal both on the field and off with them,” Wilken said.
While he is focused on the now and not looking ahead, it is fair to say that as long as Wilken is at the helm at Bloomingdale, players will continue to maximize their potential, both on and off the field.