Archive for Thursday, August 22, 1996

EX-JAYHAWK BARD JOINS KU BASEBALL STAFF

August 22, 1996

Advertisement

Mike Bard, who played baseball at Kansas University in 1990 and '91, will serve as an assistant baseball coach this year.

Bard will replace former aide Steve Lienhard, who left after one year as KU's restricted-earnings coach.

"I think we've got a pretty good staff put together here," Bard said. "I did want to come back to KU. I was here two years as a player, and they were two of the best years of my life. The university is a fine academic school with a beautiful campus. It's just a great place to be."

After running out of eligibility in '91, Bard transferred to Texas Tech, where he received his bachelor and, later, his masters degrees. He spent four years on staff in Lubbock, as a graduate assistant and as a full-time assistant. He was an aide at Howard Junior College last season.

"I got to coach a lot there the last two years," Bard said of his time on the Red Raiders staff. "The first couple of years, I was just earning my stripes, doing laundry. They gave me some responsibilities the last two years. The program really grew while I was there. It was toward the bottom of the Southwest Conference my first few years. The year before I left, we won the Southwest Conference.

"It was a good learning ground for me. Our crowds were less than a 1,000 when I got there and they went up to 4,000 or 5,000 last year. It was a good place to learn."

It was not, however, a good place to earn money, so Bard left for Howard's bigger paycheck.

"I'm married, and I needed a job, quite honestly," Bard said. "Plus it was a chance to do recruiting. That was a step up in responsibility, a chance for me to move up to the Division One level some time. It was a move I felt I had to make."

Then KU head coach Bobby Randall and top assistant Wilson Kilmer came calling with an even bigger paycheck.

"It's more than I ever made before in my life," Bard said with a laugh. "I'm real happy to be here. I feel real fortunate."

Bard was an All-Big Eight designated hitter in 1991.

He did not, he argued, lay the groundwork for KU's run to the College World Series in 1993.

"More than anything," he joked, "the old guys just got out of the way."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.