2007 Dill Howell Award

Jim Kittilsby

Jim Kittilsby was born on Feb. 8, 1938, in Minot, N.D., and went to high school in Montana before eventually arriving on the Pacific Lutheran campus in 1956. While at PLC, Kittilsby was a three-year starter in the outfield for the Knights. He did not play as a senior, instead choosing to start his career in professional baseball by working for the Tacoma Giants in 1960.

Following minor league front office stints from 1960-66 with several different teams, Kittilsby was promoted to the San Francisco Giants in 1967. In late 1967 he was hired as the first person to join the staff of the Pacific Northwest Sports, which operated the Seattle Angles (1968) and the Seattle Pilots. He was business manager of the Angles and administrative assistant of the Pilots general manager Marvin Milkes. Kittilsby duties including running the Pilots' Arizona winter instructional league program and later overseeing the training complex in Tempe. His role was expanded to include the title Director of the Speakers Bureau and Executive Secretary of Scouting for the Pilots and later the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jim Kittilsby's last day with the Milwaukee
Brewers--with Brewers owner (and later
Baseball Commissioner) Bud Selig
Kittilsby returned his alma mater in 1970 as sports information director, assistant athletic director and head baseball coach. The face of PLU athletics transformed in the next 16 years, including Kittilsby's significant role in changing the school's nickname from Knights to Lutes, and his management of the athletic program's primary fund-raising arm, Lute Club. Among the most popular and eagerly anticipated of Kittilsby's projects were the annual "Old Time Prices Night" promotion at basketball games, and the All-Sports Banquet featuring the humorous PLUTO (PLU Traumatic Occurrences) Awards.

Kittilsby worked hard to return PLU football and men's basketball to the radio, and he also handled radio play-by-play duties for Lute baseball from 1983-85. As sports information director, Kittilsby won three "best in nation" awards for his recruiting books and media guides. He was named PLU Distinguished Alumnus in Sports in 1980 and was named by the Tacoma News Tribune as Puget Sound Athletic Administrator of the Year in 1978. In 2001 Kittilsby was elected to Pacific Lutheran's Athletic Hall of Fame.