For almost 30 years, Ken Howe has held the position of head coach for Keene State College’s baseball team. For three of those seasons, Howe’s son has been a member of the team.

Dustin Howe is a junior at KSC and a native of Keene, who said he is appreciative of the opportunity he has to play for his father at the collegiate level.

“I love it and I’ve always wanted to play for him,” Dustin said. “He knows so much about the game and everything else, that’s why I wanted to play for him.”

contributed photo / dustin howe

contributed photo / dustin howe

While Dustin does enjoy being able to play for his dad, he can sometimes feel the pressure. “He’s harder on me than he is on other guys, just because he has to be, and I’m okay with that. I accepted that when I came here my freshman year,” Dustin said.

Team captain Cody Dube said that extra pressure is inevitable in Dustin’s position. “He’s got to feel some pressure, being the coach’s son,” Dube said.

Dustin lives at home now, but his father wanted him to first experience dorm life before he made a decision to stay at home. “His freshman year he lived on campus, I wanted to give him that opportunity to at least do that,” Ken said.

Both Dustin and Ken seem to believe that the situation they’re in has not affected Dustin’s play. Dustin said it adds some pressure, but that makes him want to go above and beyond what his father expects of him. Dube agreed.

“I think in some ways, he probably feels more comfortable, because he’s been around Keene State baseball his whole life,” Dube said, when asked how the situation might affect Dustin’s play.

As far as Ken’s coaching style, the veteran coach said consistency hasn’t been a problem. “I still do the same things that I’ve done for the last twenty-nine years,” Ken said.

Most of the players don’t see Ken and Dustin as father and son when they hit the field, but rather as coach and player. “Before and after practice, they ride in together and do stuff like that. But during practice it’s just the same as anyone else,” Dube said.

The two Howe men keep it professional on the field, but are family members once baseball is over. Ken said that every night when he comes home, his relationship with Dustin goes right back to father-son. Ken sees Dustin, tells him he loves him and that he’ll see him in the morning.

“He treats everyone the same way, I’m no different,” Dustin said.

Dustin measures in at a few inches over six feet and about 235 pounds, according to his father. Growing up, Dustin was always bigger than the kids he competed against. “He was always on the bigger side of kids in his classroom,” Ken said.

Ken also explained that, for younger kids in baseball, the bigger kids are often the better players. As players get older, that changes. “As you get older and everybody else matures and catches up, you kind of lose that edge of being the biggest, strongest, or best because everybody is now in that same boat,” Ken said.

At the end of the day, though, Ken and Dustin are still father and son. “We’ve been close growing up. The big thing we had in common was baseball,” Dustin said.

Ed Messer can be contacted at

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