17 - Bill Kernen
Bill Kernen
College: University of Redlands
Position: Volunteer Assistant Coach
Experience: 1st Season

Bill Kernen, 58, returns to the Fullerton coaching staff after a 19-year absence, replacing Ted Silva as the Titans' volunteer assistant coach. Kernen served as Augie Garrido's pitching coach for the Titans from 1978-82, and then again in 1987 and will again work with the pitching staff under Head Coach George Horton.

Kernen is returning to Southern California baseball after an 11-year hiatus. He has spent the better part of the last decade working in New York City as a playwright, with a brief coaching detour at North Carolina State in 2002-03. Despite being away from the game for a while, his coaching resume is far from empty.

In 1988, Cal State Northridge hired Kernen to be its head coach with the challenge of upgrading the strong Division II program to one that would compete at the Division I level. From 1989-1995, the Matador skipper posted a 240-154-3 overall record (.609) that included three trips to the post-season and a near-miss trip to the College World Series in CSUN's first year at the Division I level (1991).

Kernen's 1991 squad finished the season ranked No. 10 in Collegiate Baseball's final poll, becoming just the second team in the history of the poll to ever finish in the top 10 in the nation in its first year at the Division I level. The only other team to accomplish the feat was Garrido's 1975 Titans, who finished 8th in the country in their inaugural season at D-I status.

After seven seasons, and with the Northridge baseball program on the brink of extinction due to budget cuts, Kernen left his post as the Matadors' head coach in 1995 and moved to New York to study at Columbia University to become a writer.

After stints at his alma mater San Gorgonio High School (1974-76) and Orange Coast College (1976-77), Kernen started his Division I coaching career with Cal State Fullerton in 1978. In five seasons at CSF, Kernen guided Titan pitching to five consecutive post-season berths, including two trips to the College World Series (1979 and 1982) and one national championship in 1979. Following the 1982 season, he left baseball to pursue other business opportunities.

Kernen returned to the field and to Fullerton for the 1987 season and again guided the Titan arms to the NCAA Regionals in New Orleans, Louisiana. In six years at Fullerton, Kernen coached 14 pitchers selected by Major League Baseball in the amateur draft, with four (Gary Buckles, Larry Casian, Jeff Robinson and No. 1 draft pick Mike Harkey) reaching the big leagues. When Garrido left Fullerton in 1988 for Illinois, he took with him his trusted pitching coach whom he would lose just one year later.

While at Columbia, Kernen wrote and produced two full-length plays And Other Fairy Tales and A Graveyard Symphony by 1997. Two more, Galleria degli Angeli (1998) and Musica de Mariposa (1999), would follow in the next two years, with his 1998 effort being honored as a finalist in the Oglebay Institute National Playwriting Competition.

Kernen graduated cum laude in 1970 from the University of Redlands, where he played college ball. His 11 wins and 1.26 ERA in 106 innings in 1970 earned the Bulldog hurler first-team All-SCIAC, Player of the Year, and Athlete of the Year honors, as well as a place in the Redlands record book. His 11 victories tie him with Gary Sherman (1965) for the most in a single season at Redlands. The pitcher was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, an organization he would play with for three seasons before starting his coaching career in 1974.

Kernen and his wife, Betty, live in Placentia.