NORTHRIDGE — Months of anticipation ended Wednesday when Mike Batesole was hired as Cal State Northridge's permanent baseball coach.
Batesole served as interim coach last season, after the resignation of Bill Kernen in August of 1995, and led Northridge to a 52-18 record and a surprising runner-up finish in the NCAA West Regional.
"It was not a difficult decision, because of the job Mike had done and the season we had," Athletic Director Paul Bubb said.
Batesole was selected over Rich Hill, formerly of Cal Lutheran and now coaching at the University of San Francisco, and Wyoming Coach David Taylor, a former Cal Lutheran assistant.
The Matadors set 42 single-season school records and won their first Western Athletic Conference championship under Batesole. After he guided the team to a .743 winning percentage and a school-record 52 victories, he wasn't bothered by the delay in getting the permanent job, Batesole said.
"I've enjoyed being on the edge," he said. "I think it's pushed me and pushed the kids. I think it was good for all of us.
"I had a lot of people come to me and say, 'What in the world is your athletic director waiting for?' That's how Paul works. He waited for the summer, [so] there would be no distractions for the kids [during the season]."
But while Bubb conducted a national search, Batesole became interested in openings at Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.
"No slight against Mike, but there were a lot of guys who have been Division I assistants for a few years who would like to take over a program like Northridge," Bubb said. "But Mike took the opportunity and took the program to a level it had not been at for some time."
Batesole said he decided to stick with Northridge because of the support of the community, an enjoyable association with Bubb and the commitment of his players.
Batesole will search for two new assistants after the recent resignations of pitching coach Dan Cowgill and top assistant Chris Stevens, who will be athletic director at Righetti High in Santa Maria.
"I'm going to look right here in the Valley," Batesole said. "There's a lot of good baseball people here."
Contributing: Jeff Fletcher.