Esports Coaching Staff

Aaron KapikoFormer professional gamer Aaron Kapiko has been named the first esports coach in Blinn College history.

Max Hibbs, Dean of Engineering, Computer Technology, and Innovation, said Kapiko stood out from a large number of applicants from around the country due to his esports experience.

“He was a collegiate player and recently retired as a professional player, where he was rated in the top 25 in the world for his game (Hearthstone),” Hibbs said. “He also served as the social media and brand manager for two large esports organizations.

“He has five years of coaching experience, including at the collegiate level. He also has strong recruiting experience and has evaluated hundreds of recruits’ skills to determine their level of play.”

Kapiko earned his coaching certification from the National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Science, Technology, and Society from North Carolina State University and his career included two years as a wrestling coach at a high school in Raleigh, N.C.

Kapiko, who began competing in video games at age 14, said he is eager to launch Blinn’s new esports teams.

“I’m looking forward to building a program from scratch and working with students to help them be successful in all areas, including academically,” he said. “I believe I bring many strengths to the program, having played professionally. I’ve been around pros from many different titles and I have seen what it’s like in scrimmages and behind the scenes.”

Kapiko said the time he spent as a professional gamer “was one of the best experiences I could ask for.”

“I got to travel the world to play and enjoyed all of it. It was certainly a grind at times and a lot of hard work, but I got to have experiences and do things I never would have if not for getting to play Hearthstone at that level,” he said. “It was always a great experience, and I got to play against world championship contenders. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.”