BAKERSFIELD, Calif.- Director of Athletics Kenneth “Ziggy” Siegfried has announced the hiring of Jeremy Beard as head coach of CSU Bakersfield baseball, removing the interim title from Beard who took over the program in December of 2016.
Under Beard's first season at the helm, the Roadrunners rebounded from a 19-37 season in 2016 to post a 32-24 mark under Beard's leadership in 2017. The Roadrunners also improved their WAC record to 14-10 this season, earning a third-place finish in the regular season, a second-seed in the WAC Tournament where they advanced to the championship against Sacramento State.
During their 32-win season, Bakersfield posted series wins over NCAA Regional qualifiers BYU and Sacramento State and defeated Nebraska, who also took part in the 2017 NCAA Tournament field. The Roadrunners also posted marquee wins over traditional west coast powerhouse programs Arizona State, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara.
On the field, the Roadrunners collected seven all-conference awards with seniors David Metzgar (second base), Ryan Grotjohn (shortstop) and Max Carter (starting pitcher), earning First-Team All-WAC honors. Carter was also named WAC ‘Pitcher of the Year', the third time in five seasons a Roadrunner has earned that honor. Four others were named Second Team All-WAC led by senior Mahlik Jones (third base), junior Andrew Penner (left field), senior Junior Felix (catcher) and junior Naithen Dewsnap (relief pitcher). Dewsnap also led the WAC in saves this season setting a CSUB single-season and career-record with 14.
CSUB finished the regular season with the second-highest batting average in the WAC in one of their most-productive offensive seasons in history. CSUB claimed the three top spots in the batting average in the WAC led by Grotjohn (.400), Metzgar (.389) and Penner (.382). At one point during the season Grotjohn led the nation in hitting and finished the regular season 7th in the nation in batting average. CSUB finished 15th in the nation with a team batting average of .312 which was second-highest in CSUB history.
With his style of coaching, the Roadrunners also set a new program record for stolen bases in 2017 with 73 which also led the WAC and surpassed the previous CSUB stolen base mark of 53 set in 2014. CSUB's performance on the field was also rewarded in the stands with the Roadrunners setting a new average-per-game attendance record this past season.
Beard becomes the third head coach of the Roadrunners who in 2018 will celebrate the 10th anniversary of CSUB baseball. He joined the CSUB coaching staff in 2016 serving as the pitching coach before being promoted to interim head coach the following season.
About Jeremy Beard
Jeremy Beard came to CSUB after coaching at the University of Portland during the 2014 and 2015 seasons serving as the outfield and hitting coach for 19-year head coach, Chris Sperry. In 2014, Coach Beard was the Head Baseball Coach in the West Coast Collegiate League for the Portland Lobos.
A 21-year veteran, Beard started his coaching career soon after playing at and graduating from Oregon State University in 1997, serving as the Head Baseball Coach at Central Catholic High School (1998-2001) in Portland, Ore.
He quickly returned to the college ranks, becoming the Associate Athletic Director while serving as the Associate Head Coach at Columbia Basin College (Wash.). As a coach at CBC, Beard served many roles but was primarily the pitching and catching coach, helping the program earn a record of 309-84 (.786) including six conference championships. The Hawks qualified for the NWAC Championship tournament all nine seasons, winning the 2006 championship and finishing in the top five out of 28 teams eight times. The Hawks ranked among the nation's Top 25 teams six times and reached the nation's Top 10 list on three occasions. CBC hurlers won the conference pitching title all nine seasons in record-breaking form including team ERA (1.36) and strikeouts (470).
As a relentless recruiter at Columbia Basin College, Beard was called on to double as an Associate Scout for the Florida Marlins (2003-2004) and the Boston Red Sox (2004-2007) under Jon Booher.
In 2011, Beard joined the NJCAA at Western Nevada College where he served as the pitching coach for two seasons. Upon his arrival, the Wildcats thrived with the best back-to-back seasons in school history, winning 93 games and setting program records for earned run average (2.47), strikeouts (522), and opposing batting average (.209).
Beard has proven experience recruiting players in southern and northern California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest. He has coached 35 Major League Draft picks including CSUB's Ryan Grotjohn who was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.
As a walk-on player at Oregon State University, Beard helped the Beavers claim the Pac-10 North Conference title in 1994 for OSU's legendary coach, Jack Riley. As a starting pitcher, he won nine games and was named the Bill Bonser Award winner, given to the Most Improved Player. A year later, Beard was named a team captain in 1995 for current OSU skipper and future Hall of Famer, Pat Casey.
Prior to his arrival at OSU, Beard was a walk-on at Linn Benton CC, where he served as the program's team captain for Head Coach Greg Hawk. As a two-way player, Beard helped the Roadrunners earn back-to-back Championship Tournament appearances in 1992 and 1993.
Beard earned a BS in education from Oregon State in 1996 and he completed his master's in education at the American Intercontinental University in 2004. Jeremy and his wife Annie have two sons: Logan and Wyatt.
What They Are Saying About Jeremy Beard
“The administration at CSUB got it right hiring Jeremy Beard. He has a lot of work ahead of him but with the proper support, he will do big things for the players, the university, and the community of Bakersfield. Couldn't be more pleased and excited about the future of CSUB baseball.”
--Dusty Baker, Manager, Washington Nationals
“Jeremy Beard is one of the brightest young coaches in the nation. I am very happy that he got this opportunity. CSU Bakersfield made a great decision in hiring him. That program is in good hands and will see great success under his leadership.”
--Mark Machtolf, Head Coach, Gonzaga University
“I think Ziggy Siegfried has selected an outstanding person to lead the Roadrunner program in Jeremy Beard. Jeremy is a tireless worker, a person of integrity, and a very good baseball man. He will do well.”
--Gary Henderson, Head Coach, University of Kentucky
"I had the pleasure of coaching him, to watch him play and to watch him coach. He's the kind of guy that is going to put his heart and soul into a program and I think CSUB made a quality hire. He's been in baseball his whole life and he's a guy humbled by this opportunity, he's going to build a program and do it right while building the type of program Bakersfield is looking for."
--Pat Casey, Head Coach, Oregon State
“Jeremy brings an unmatched enthusiasm and passion to the game of baseball on a daily basis. Having witnessed this on many levels, beginning as college teammates and continuing on to my observations now as a scout, I have seen the impact that his positive attitude and knowledge of the game can have on those around him. I look forward to watching the CSU Bakersfield players flourish and achieve their goals, both on and off the field under his guidance.”
--Mark Thurman, Former Oregon State Teammate,
Retired MLB Player and current NY Yankees Scout
“Jeremy has been a long time teacher and baseball coach. His keen people skills and work ethic will lay the foundation for CSUB Baseball. It is evident he has the tools to teach, mentor, and facilitate today's student-athlete. He has prepared for this humbling opportunity and challenge his entire coaching career. Roadrunner Baseball is in great hands with the leadership he has to offer and the future will be bright for years to come.”
--Dennis Rogers, Head Coach, Riverside City College