CSUB baseball coach announces retirement

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Cal State Bakersfield head baseball coach Bill Kernen has announced his retirement, effective at the conclusion of the season.

The founding coach of CSUB baseball, Kernen has a 155-168 record over six seasons. Among his accomplishments: a Western Athletic Conference regular season championship in 2013 and the WAC Coach of the Year award.

Eleven players have been drafted by Major League teams under his watch. Jeff McKenzie was named WAC Pitcher of the Year, and Tyler Shryock was named WAC Player of the Year.

Kernen's Roadrunners (21-27, 12-9) are playing their final home stand this weekend against New Mexico State. They still have regular-season games at Fresno State and Seattle University before the postseason begins.

Kernen was hired in 2007, before CSUB even had a baseball team. School officials said he was instrumental in developing the program, including the construction of Hardt Field.

"We thank Coach Kernen for his six years of service considering he's taken this program from literally a dream to a national competitor in a short amount of time," Athletics Director Jeff Konya said in a news release. "Because of his work and success, we feel he's made this job an attractive opportunity for his successor."

Kernen, who has been coaching off and on since the 1970s, has a career record of 394-321-3. He's coached at Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, Illinois and North Carolina State.

He plans to move to New York and work as a stage and screen writer, according to CSUB. Kernen stepped away from baseball in the 1990s and enrolled in the dramatic writing program at Columbia University, where he wrote and produced two full-length plays. He wrote two others after finishing the program, and one was a 1998 finalist for the Oglebay Institute National Playwriting Competition.

A national search will be conducted for Kernen's successor.