May 5, 2000
NKUS AKER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Norse baseball coach to retire after 29 years
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University baseball head coach Bill Aker, who has won more than 800 games in 29 seasons with the Norse, announced Friday that he will retire from that position at the seasons conclusion.
Aker, who is the only baseball head coach in NKU history, enters this weekends four-game home series against Wisconsin-Parkside with a career record of 806-569-1 in 29 seasons. Aker has led NKU to a pair of World Series appearances (1979, 1985), and he ranks No. 10 all-time among active NCAA Division II coaches in career victories with 806.
It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement, Aker said, noting he will leave NKU effective Aug. 31. After 29 years, it is time to hang the uniform up and enjoy the game from the other side of the fence.
Aker was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1992, and he has earned Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honors three times (1977, 1979, 1981) during his career. He was also NAIA Area IV Coach of the Year in 1985 after leading NKU to the NAIA World Series.
Akers 1977 team won a school-record 49 games and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the NCAA Division II poll. His 1989 squad posted a 45-9 record and came within one out of qualifying for the NCAA Division II World Series.
Aker has won at least 30 games 11 times during his career with the Norse, and his teams have recorded 40-win seasons four times.
I want to thank my players for working hard and giving me 110 percent on and off the field, and I want to thank all the players parents and families for allowing me the privilege and honor to work with your sons the past 29 years, Aker said.
NKU athletic director Jane Meier said Aker has built a great tradition with the Norse baseball program over the years.
Whats amazing is that Bill is the one and only baseball coach weve ever had, and that says a lot about him and his dedication to this program, Meier said. Bill has won more than 800 games, he graduates his players, and he has set a great tradition in place.
Meier said a search for Akers replacement will be conducted as soon as possible, and she hopes the position will be filled by Aug. 1.
Akers final two games as head coach will be this Sunday at noon, when NKU plays Wisconsin-Parkside in a doubleheader at Friendship Field.