CSUB President Dr Lynnette Zelezny called Siegfried’s reappointment a “heartfelt loss” to the university.
“Dr. Siegfried is an extraordinary leader who is a role model of integrity for his academic-athletes, his staff and our entire community,” said Zelezny. “He has always insisted that success in the classroom comes first, and our college-athletes have responded, with consistently high grade point averages and graduation rates. I’m so glad this decision brings Dr. Siegfried, his wife and family children, but he will be sorely missed.”
A 10-year member of CSUB’s athletic department, Siegfried was named the program’s third athletic director on August 20, 2015. Runners reached new heights of academic performance and athletic achievement during his tenure at Bakersfield . CSUB reset records for graduation pass rate, athletic department GPA, and academic progression rate during Siegfried’s time at Bakersfield.
“There’s no way I can describe what CSUB Athletics, the university and the community as a whole have meant to me and my family,” Siegfried said. “Bakersfield has been home to us for 10 years and CSUB is our family. It’s tough to make this change, but it’s a great opportunity for us and we’re extremely excited.”
A total of seven teams have won conference championships with Siegfried at the helm, including baseball (2015), men’s basketball (2016), wrestling (2016), softball (2016), and volleyball (2014 and 2017) . Additionally, the men’s basketball team won the program’s first regular season WAC championship in 2017.
Dr. Thomas Wallace, vice president of student affairs, called Siegfried a game changer for CSUB.
“Dr. Siegfried has always understood that our scholar-athletes are scholars first and athletes second,” Wallace said. “And he helped create a culture of access and opportunity that celebrates the diversity of our students, staff and community. We are a better institution because of Dr. Siegfried.”
Individually, the Roadrunners have won 19 WAC titles, six Pac-12 titles, three MPSF gold medals and ten major conference awards since Siegfried took over as acting athletic director in 2015.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better person to lead our athletics department,” said Vanessa Austin, senior runner for the Bakersfield women’s basketball team. “When I arrived at CSUB in 2017, Ziggy welcomed me with open arms and our relationship has grown over the years.”
A vocal leader at the CSUB and within the Big West Conference, Austin credited Siegfried’s advice for his opportunity to make an impact: “He encouraged me to join committees and allowed me to make my voice heard. Getting that experience and trusting him to be on those committees has been great for my growth, those are relationships that will last forever and it’s because of him and because he gave me that platform.
Siegfried and his young family will move to Evansville, which is just five hours from his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.
A search committee will soon be formed with the goal of concluding a national search for Bakersfield’s new athletic director by the start of the fall 2022 semester. Wallace plans to appoint an interim athletic director in the near future, ensuring that CSUB Athletics continues to provide its college-athletes and fans with an exceptional experience.