College

Saturday, Jul 19 2014 10:19 PM

Big task ahead for Siegfried as interim athletic director at CSUB

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    Casey Christie / The Californian Kenneth "Ziggy" Siegfried has worked at CSUB for 4 months and his jos is money-raising for the school.

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BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer jevans@bakersfield.com

Kenneth "Ziggy" Siegfried has had his hands full trying to generate money for Cal State Bakersfield's athletic department since his arrival in Bakersfield 2-1/2 years ago.

That's expected. After all, his official title is CSUB's associate athletic director for external affairs, and successful athletic departments' lifeblood is cash.

Now he's got a bigger title: interim athletic director.

The resignation of Jeff Konya earlier this month after he accepted the AD job at Oakland (Mich.) University has greatly added to Siegfried's responsibilities.

Two days after Konya's announced departure -- his final day at CSUB will be Aug. 4 -- Siegfried was named interim AD by CSUB President Horace Mitchell and Dr. Thomas Wallace, CSUB's vice president for student services who oversees athletics.

Above all else, Siegfrield said he wants to make sure there's no dropoff in CSUB's athletic progress as it tries to improve its status as a Division I program.

"I'm still overseeing external relations," Siegfried said. "A lot of my time is making sure we don't slip at all. We're looking for a great 2014-15 season."

Siegfried oversaw a record-setting $603,000 raised for athletic scholarships in the fiscal year that ended June 30. CSUB athletics raised more than $2 million overall that fiscal year.

But now Siegfried also must oversee the 17-sport athletic department until Konya's successor is hired. The projected timetable for that is sometime this fall.

"We have to be careful about putting an exact time on this," he said. "I've been on searches. ... Sometime in the fall is what they'd like. That could be anything from September to November."

Konya, who was hired by CSUB in Nov. 2010, will begin his new job in Oakland sometime in August.

"He's been helping with the transition," Siegfried said. "I've been going over a lot of things with him. I'm picking his brain."

Siegfried said he has a goal of eventually becoming a D-I athletic director.

"This is an opportunity for me to gain valuable experience in running a department," he said.

Siegfried said he hasn't made a final decision about applying for the current opening.

"Right now my goal is to focus on this current role and really do an excellent job," Siegfried said.

Siegfried, 33, acknowledged that CSUB could prefer someone with more experience.

"Dr. Wallace and I have had the discussion. He knows my goal is to be a D-I athletic director," Siegfried said. "That doesn't mean I'll get the permanent position but I'll do a good job in my current role. I'm sure Dr. Wallace and I will have further discussion on that."

If someone with more experience is hired, "I'll be that person's biggest fan and biggest supporter," Siegfried said.

"If the leadership believes I'm ready, they'll let me know. If not, if the feeling is I need a couple more years and there may be applicants with more experience -- I'm OK with that."

Siegfried said that as of early last week, CSUB had not officially posted the job opening.

"But I do know there's been a lot of people interested in this job," he said. "That says a lot for where we stand right now.

"I've gotten calls. I know Dr. Wallace has gotten calls. Coach Barnes (men's basketball coach Rod Barnes) has gotten calls.

"It's all about the fit. There's been times people assume the candidate pool will look a certain way and a person comes out of the blue who applies that you never thought would have an interest.

"I expect to see a wide variety of candidates. You'll see some sitting D-II athletic directors, some (D-I) mid-majors and some BCS senior level administrators."

Wallace is putting together a search committee that will include members from the campus and community. Siegfried said he won't be on that committee.

"I was extremely excited and pumped up when they told me about it," Siegfried said. "For them to have faith in me to hold down the fort -- I was thrilled."

"I have confidence in Ziggy's ability to manage the department's operations while we complete the search for a new director of athletics," Wallace said in a news release.

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