1973 Burro Bill Sizemore wears two NCAA Division III Baseball National Cham

1973 Burro Bill Sizemore wears two NCAA Division III Baseball National ChamBruce Auld, a former Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent, is writing the history of Burroughs High School. The articles that are being published are excerpts from his upcoming book, exclusive to The News Review. I purposefully held off the Burroughs baseball stories until fall. Thus, I am writing this story while enjoying the Dodgers and Giants in games three, four and five of the National League play-offs with Conner, my 16-year-old grandson. Way to go Dodgers!

I believe it was the spring of 1960 that the Rocketeer ran a photo of the 100 children living on Wasp Road. Wasp Road is only one block long with homes only on the west side. One block, one side of the road. Kindergartner, Bill Sizemore and his brother and sisters were in that picture.

Bill Sizemore graduated from Burroughs in 1973 and went on to study and play baseball at West Hills Community College in Coalinga, CA. He was recruited by California State University, Stanislaus (Turlock, CA) to play baseball. He has two NCAA Division III Baseball National Championship rings for the 1976 and 1977 campaigns at Stanislaus. Sizemore was an All-District 8 pitcher in 1976 and held the school record for career winning percentage. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.

Inducted into the Warriors Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, the 1976 baseball team won the 1976 NCAA Division III title by defeating the Ithica Bombers of Marrietta, Ohio by the score of 13-6. Bill Sizemore was the starting pitcher. (D3 Baseball. Com) Their victory immediately erased their despised “Turkey Tech” nickname. (Modesto Bee)

After earning his teaching credential at California State University, Bakersfield, Bill returned to Burroughs to teach and coach from 1980 through 1984. Tommy Mather coached the pitchers for Bill. Bill left Burroughs to teach and coach baseball at Canyon High School (Santa Clarita). Bill took a sabbatical year to earn his master’s degree, returning to coaching in 1989 as pitching coach for Saugus High School (Santa Clarita). During his three years at Saugus under Doug Worley, he had the opportunity to work with Roger Salkeld, the Seattle Marinar’s number one pick (3rd overall) in the 1989 MLB draft. Like the 2001 Burroughs baseball team, the 1989 Saugus team made it to Dodger Stadium for the CIF finals, losing 1-0. Roger Salkeld was Bill’s starting pitcher.

“Sizemore moved to Hart High School (Santa Clarita) in 1992 as an assistant coach for legendary coach Bud Murray. During his tenure at Hart, Bill was offered the head coaching job at Thousand Oaks High School. While at Thousand Oaks, Bill coached Jack Wilson, an all-star short stop and former second baseman for the Seattle Mariners. Thousand Oaks won the Marmonte League Championship and made four post-season appearances, reaching the quarter finals in 2000. Following the 2000 season, Sizemore was hired as pitching coach at Moorpark College.

Bill retired after a 33-year teaching and coaching career with California high schools and community colleges, only to move on to Bethany College (W VA) where he worked with future Hall of Fame coach Rick Carver, who has the most victories in school history. The summer of 2016 brought Bill to Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. “Sizemore joins the Missionaries as one the most experienced and decorated coaches to don a Whitman uniform.” (Whitman College Website)

Coach Sizemore has also worked in professional baseball for 20 years. Starting as an associate scout for Seattle in 1990, he was hired as a minor league pitching coach for the Mariners in 1992. After his stint with the Mariners, he worked for Major League Baseball as a pitching coach for the Lethridge Mounties in the Pioneer League, followed by a seven-year assignment as a minor league pitching coach with the Florida Marlins. After working in player development, Sizemore moved into scouting with the Marlins for 4 years and was then hired by the Pittsburg Pirates as a part-time scout in Southern California.

During his eight years of scouting, Sizemore spent summers working as pitching coach for the Rockville Express and the Bethesda Big Train in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League. The Big Train won a National Championship in 2011, ranked number one for all summer college teams by Perfect Game. While in the Ripkin League, Sizemore worked with future major league pitchers Joe Smith (Angels), Justin DeFratus (Phillies), Cody Allen (Indians) and Matt Bowman.

(Excerpted from Whitman College Website)

Nearly a decade after his “official” retirement, Bill has been recently coaching at Franklin High School in North Carolina.

“I can’t say enough about Tommy Mather and how he has been a major influence in my career. He is one of the BEST pitching coaches out there. I learned a lot from him and his philosophy about pitching that I still use today.” (Bill Sizemore)

“Bill Sizemore considers himself a sponge, soaking up baseball and dispensing it to players with the will to learn.” (Steve Henson LA Times 1/31/96)

Bill’s father Robert was a member of the Sierra Sands Board of Education in the 1970s.

Courtesy photo: 1973 BHS grad and NCAA baseball champ Bill Sizemore

Story First Published: 2021-10-22