Kinneberg Announces Retirement Effective at Season’s End
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah head baseball coach Bill Kinneberg announced today his decision to retire at the end of the season after 18 years at Utah and 37 overall as either a head coach or assistant.
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.
"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. "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. I want to thank my family, starting with my Mom and Dad, my siblings, and naturally my wife Janet and my sons, Joe and David. 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."
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.
"First and foremost, I want to congratulate Bill on a remarkable career," said Director of Athletics Mark Harlan. "His care for his students has been second to none. I worked with Bill and was fortunate to know him back in the day when we both worked at the University of Arizona, and I am grateful to have worked with him again here at Utah for the last three years. He is a terrific coach but an even better person. I want to thank Bill, Janet and their entire family for all they have done for this program, and wish them all the very best. Utah Baseball and Bill Kinneberg will forever be connected, and I look forward to having Bill remain closely associated with the program in his retirement."
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.
Kinneberg has coached baseball for 37 years with head coaching stints at UTEP (1985) and Wyoming (1986-92) preceding his head coaching stints at Utah (1996, 2005-21). His teams established school records for victories in a season at UTEP in 1985 and Wyoming in 1990, when he was the WAC Coach of the Year.
In addition to having success as a head coach Kinneberg also made a big impact as an assistant. He served as an assistant coach at Arizona State from 1992 through 1994 helping lead them to back-to-back appearances in the College World Series in 1993 and 1994. He was the Associate Head Coach at Arizona from 1996-2001 and served as the pitching coach in the Chicago White Sox organization at one of their minor league affiliates from 2003-04.
Well-respected across the game, Kinneberg also had experience with USA Baseball. In 2010, he served as the head coach of the US National Team that won a silver medal at the FISU World University Championships in Japan. Prior to that, he served as the pitching coach in 2007 and 1999. The 2007 pitching staff turned in a 25-12 mark in international competition, and finished with a scant 1.93 earned-run average.