Baseball Staff

Bill Walkenbach, Head Baseball Coach

Coach Walkenbach enters his fifth season at the helm of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball program in the 2019-20 academic year. Over his first four seasons at the helm, he has improved the Stags' win total and winning percentage each season, turning the program around from a 7-32 season the year before he took over to a 19-14-1 mark in 2019, when CMS finished fifth in the SCIAC and were in the race for the conference tournament until the final weekend.

The turnaround is no surprise, as Walkenbach has a history of acheiving unprecedented success at his previous coaching stops. Prior to CMS, he served seven years as the head baseball coach at NCAA Division I Cornell University, where he led the Big Red to its first-ever Ivy League Championship in 2012 and set single season school records with 31 wins overall and going 14-6 in conference play. The team won the Lou Gehrig Division of the Ivy League in 2009 and 2012.  Academically, the Big Red baseball team was recognized for being in the top 10 percent of Division I baseball for all seven years under Walkenbach.

Before his tenure at Cornell, Walkenbach was the head coach of the Division III Franklin & Marshall baseball program in Lancaster, Penn. Under his tutelage, the Diplomats won two regular season Centennial Conference championships in 2006 and 2007 and achieved a 69-42 overall record, the highest percentage during any three-year period in program history. The team finished the 2006 season ranked No. 13 in Division III, the highest ranking for the program to date.

Walkenbach completed his Master of Sports Administration at Georgia State while on staff as an assistant coach at Emory University for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. In 2003, Emory was a Division III World Series participant, finishing the season ranked No. 5 in the nation.

Walkenbach earned his bachelor’s degree at Cornell and was a four-year All-Ivy shortstop selection including earning Rookie of the Year honors in 1995. He appears 17 times in the career record book for Cornell Baseball and was the former home run record holder with 21 during his career. He was inducted into Cornell’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

Jake Ayers, Assistant Coach

Jake Ayers enters his third season as an assistant coach with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in 2019-20, working with the catchers, outfielders and hitters. 

A 12-year veteran of college coaching at the Division III level, Ayers came to CMS on a full-time basis in 2017 after working with Pomona-Pitzer (2013-2017), Juniata College (2011-2013) and Knox College (2007-2011).  The past five seasons in Claremont, Ayers has worked to develop student-athletes that have earned the following awards: 17 All-SCIAC selections, 12 ABCA All-West Region, nine All-West Region, four ABCA All-Americans, three SCIAC Athletes of the Year, two SCIAC Newcomers of the Year, two West Region Players of the Year, two Major League Baseball signees, and an ABCA Gold Glove winner.

In addition to his baseball duties, Ayers also serves as the Assistant Director, Events and Operations for Roberts Pavilion and CMS Athletics. In this position he manages game-day operations for all varsity athletic events in Roberts Pavilion as well as scheduling, care and maintenance of all athletic facilities. This position also manages the use of all athletic facilities pertaining to off-campus rentals, camps and conferences.

Ayers is a 2006 graduate of Knox College where he was a four-year letter winner in baseball and football.  On the baseball field, Ayers was a four-year starting catcher and two-time unanimous all-Midwest Conference selection.  On the football field, Ayers led the Prairie Fire at quarterback throughout his collegiate career.

During the 2008-2009 seasons, Ayers was the Bullpen Coach for the Lincoln Saltdogs of the independent professional American Association; winning the league title in 2009.  In 2007, Ayers was signed to play in the inaugural Israel Baseball League and caught for the league champion Bet Shemesh Blue Sox.

In 2004, Ayers began his coaching career at the age of 19, when he took over the Farmington (IL) American Legion Post 140 baseball programs.  Ayers was elected a member of Post 140’s Hall of Fame in 2005, and is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA).

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon