SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 23, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — University of Utah head baseball coach Bill Kinneberg announced Monday he will retire at the end of the season after 18 years at Utah and 37 overall as either a head coach or assistant.
“There are so many people in my life that I need to thank, starting with Dr. Chris Hill who believed in me twice, hiring me in 1995 and then again in 2004,” Kinneberg said in a prepared statement. “Also, thank you to Mark Harlan who has allowed me to coach these last three years under his guidance. To all the assistant coaches for their tireless work and for their loyalty to me and the program, I can’t thank you enough.
“Thanks to the Utah Baseball fans for their support of me and the student-athletes all of these years. The support staff within the athletic department are so generous with their time and effort and are such a pleasure to work with. I will miss them all.
“But, the group I will always be indebted to and miss the most are all the student-athletes who played for me over the years, going back to UTEP, Wyoming, Arizona State, University of Arizona, and the University of Utah. They have touched my life in so many ways and given me so many thrills that I will never forget.”
Kinneberg also thanks his family, including his parents, siblings, wife Janel and two sons.
“They have enjoyed the journey with me but have sacrificed so much for me over the years. I am anxious for the next chapter of my life, spending time with my family, traveling, playing some golf, but most of all, being the best Ute fan I can be. Thanks for everything the University has done for me and my family.”
The 2016 Pac-12 Coach of the Year after leading the Utes to the Pac-12 championship, Kinneberg has won 381 games at Utah and 625 total in his career. He has led Utah to two NCAA Tournament appearances, in 2009 and 2016. The 2009 Utes won the Mountain West tournament championship and earned Utah’s first invitation to the NCAA Tournament since 1960. Competing in the Fullerton Regional, the Utes won two games, defeating Gonzaga and Georgia Southern.
Kinneberg’s second stint as head coach at Utah included the challenge of transitioning the program from the Mountain West Conference to the Pac-12, and in just the fifth season in the league the Utes broke through to claim the conference title.
Utah has one series remaining this season, against USC, beginning Thursday, May 27, at Lindquist Field in Ogden. Kinneberg will conclude his career with Saturday’s season-finale, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
Kinneberg has had 11 of his Utah players drafted in the first 10 rounds, including C.J. Cron, the first Ute drafted in the first round in program history, selected 17th overall in 2011. Cron, Stephen Fife (third round, 2008) and Tyler Wagner (fourth round, 2012) have all reached the majors. Cron was a two-time first-team All-American (2010, ’11), a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, the two-time District Player of the Year and a two-time MWC Player of the Year. Ryan Khoury earned first-team All-America honors in 2006, and was also District Player of the Year and MWC Player of the Year. In 2017, Dallas Carroll was a third-team ABCA All-American.