K’s Training Academy was founded by Josh Kauten and is co-owned with his business partner and former player, Chris Razo.
Who We Are
Coach Kauten grew up in a small town in Iowa where he was the #4 pitcher, topping out at 83mph. Following high school, he played at Kirkwood Community College on an academic scholarship. It was here that he met legendary pitching coach, Jim VanScoyoc. Coach VanScoyoc refined his mechanics while he continued to work in the weight room and increased his velocity to 90mph.
Coach K then earned a scholarship to play at Illinois State University, where he pursued a degree in Exercise Science. While at ISU, he was named the 2003 Male Scholar Athlete of the Year for his work in the classroom and on the field. Coach K’s work at ISU resulted in an increase in pitching velocity to 95mph. As a result, Kauten was selected in 2004 MLB Amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers in the 11th Round.
After a 5-year Minor League career, he began coaching at Heartland CC. During his 6-year tenure as both Pitching Coach and Strength and Conditioning Coach, HCC amassed a record of 238-63, finished top 5 in NJCAA D2 in 3 consecutive years and sent 57 players to the D1 level.
He has since worked with over 90 players that have eventually moved on to the D1 level. In addition, he has or is currently working with over 20 players that have been drafted by MLB teams in addition to training players in the Bloomington-Normal community and offering them access to the same level of training that resulted in all the wins, D1 players and MLB drafts.
Coach Chris Razo hails from Chillicothe, IL where he was not only a highly touted pitcher, but also an All State Shortstop. Coach Razo was one of the state’s top prospects prior to separating his throwing shoulder during a football game as he was the team’s QB. After a rigorous rehab, he was able to return to form and played at Heartland CC for Coach Kauten.
During his Sophomore season, he was named the MWAC Conference Pitcher of the Year and received a scholarship to play at Illinois State University. During his Senior season at ISU, he was the only pitcher in NCAA to log 4 saves and 8 wins while posting a 1.71 ERA. This led to him being named the MVC Pitcher of the Year, the first and only time in ISU history and ultimately resulted in him being selected in the 24th round of the 2013 MLB amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Coach ‘Raz’ now has returned to the Bloomington-Normal area and shares his passion for the game through coaching dozens of K’s Athletes.
A Shared Vision
Together, Coach Kauten and Coach Razo combine their shared love for the game of baseball and mentoring young players while helping them reach their full potential on and off the field. K’s Training Academy isn’t just Coach Razo and Kauten, however. The K’s Family extends far beyond Bloomington-Normal and even the US!
At the inception of K’s Training Academy, there were many crucial partners that helped make this a reality. Satoshi “Tosh” Kajiyama, former ATC for HCC and the Boston Red Sox, current ATC for Japan MLB Hiroshima Carp was vital in the formation of the Winter Arm Care program. Tosh is one of the brightest young minds in the game of baseball and we’re fortunate to have him as a part of our K’s Family.
Michael Collins, a former HCC player of Coach Kauten’s and teammate to Coach Razo, was instrumental in taking the plunge. MC was our intern in Year 1 and was a tremendous influence on our players. MC’s life was tragically cut short by a drunk driver and to this day continues to inspire and motivate everything that we do here at K’s and helped to form our company vision: Taking an innovative, scientific and holistic approach to the development of elite and healthy overhead athletes.