Eastern Arizona College names Kevin Kimball to replace John Chalmers as head baseball coach


Eastern Arizona College

July 27, 2023

By Kris McBride

THATCHER, Ariz. –– Former University of Northern Colorado standout athlete and longtime Arizona community college coach, Kevin Kimball, has been named Eastern Arizona College’s head baseball coach.

Kimball, who replaces John Chalmers, who retired last season after 27 years with EAC’s baseball program, has a history of developing winning programs.

“It’s never easy to replace someone who gave as much to EAC as John Chalmers,” said Paul Demuth, EAC athletic director. “So, to get someone as skilled as Kevin, is a huge win for us. The amount of experience he brings to the dugout will take our program to the next level.”

Over an impressive 12-year stint at Phoenix College, Kimball led the Bears to four NJCAA Region 1 titles and berths in the World Series during three of five seasons.

“When Kevin arrived at Phoenix College, the team was the worst in the conference,” said Demuth. “When he left, they were the gold standard for junior college baseball.”

Kimball’s coaching career includes two years as the associate head coach at Gateway College, and at Combs High School in San Tan Valley, Westwind Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, and Verrado High School in Buckeye. Prior to his time in Arizona, Kimball was the hitting and outfield coach for his alma mater, the University of Northern Colorado. He also was the assistant coach for the Cotuit Kettleers in the elite Cape Cod Summer League, where he worked with top college talent from across the nation, including major leaguers Jason Kipnis, Robert Stock, and Drew Storen.

“I am thrilled to be the head baseball coach for EAC’s Fighting Gila Monsters,” said Kimball. “EAC has a strong reputation for producing outstanding student athletes who not only shine on the field, but with their academic pursuits as well. Our program will represent EAC well and make our alumni proud.”

Kimball is originally from Great Falls, Montana where he attended Charles M. Russell High School. While attending the University of Northern Colorado, he was the main cog in the Bear’s offense, leading the team in four offensive categories, including a blistering .360 batting average. Kimball earned his Bachelor of Arts in kinesiology at University of Northern Colorado and his master’s in sports management at Southern Illinois University.

Kimball will be assisted by Lawrence Chavez, who is a former student athlete in EAC’s baseball program. After five years of serving in a part-time capacity at EAC, Chavez will join Kimball as full-time assistant coach.

A 35-year legacy comes to an end

Coach John Chalmers played a pivotal role in EAC’s baseball program being reinstated after a 16-year hiatus. Together with Jim Bagnall, EAC’s former athletic director, Chalmers resurrected the program in 1996, eventually producing more than 150 student athletes who would play at the university level, including 55 at D1 programs.

“John has been a great coach, mentor, and friend to many within our organization,” said Demuth. “He set a standard of excellence for our baseball program and had an impact on so many lives. I thank him for his contributions, loyalty, and concerted efforts to bring baseball back to EAC.”

An accomplished attorney, Chalmers became EAC’s fulltime assistant baseball coach after closing his law firm in 1996. When Coach Bagnall decided to focus solely on administrative duties in 2018, Chalmers was promoted to EAC’s head baseball coach.

A Tucson native, Chalmers is a graduate of Salpointe Catholic High School and a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame. He served in the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve, and while on active duty, played baseball for several Naval commands.

Chalmers graduated from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1972. He served as president of the Graham-Greenlee Bar Association, president of the Graham County Chamber of Commerce, president of the Graham-Greenlee Counseling Center, and was a member of the Mt. Graham Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. At the state level, he served multiple terms as president of Southern Legal Aid and was a board member for the Arizona Center for Disability Law.

“I am proud of the program that Coach Bagnall developed and Coach Chavez and I continued,” said Chalmers. “Looking forward, I feel my successor has the foundation and support to move EAC baseball to an even higher competitive level.”

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