AURORA | B.J. Kingsbaker has stepped down as head coach of the Smoky Hill softball team after a six-year run in which he never had a sub-.500 record with four consecutive trips to the Class 5A state tournament.
At the team’s season-ending banquet — after a season during which the Buffaloes finished 22-5, won a second straight Centennial League championship and qualified to play at state — Kingsbaker announced he was departing to spend more time with his growing family, which expanded during the season with the birth of a son.
Over the past four seasons, Kingsbaker’s team — boosted by an outstanding class of players that arrived in 2018 that included the 2020 league player of the year in Delaney Farnsworth and 2021 co-player of the year Amrajie Bass — has won more games than any other program in Aurora with a 75-24 record, earning one more win than Caley Mitchell’s Cherokee Trail group.
He won 98 games in six seasons with Smoky Hill — never winning less than 11 in a campaign — and won 71 percent of the games the Buffaloes played in the Centennial League.
Kingsbaker’s last team includes five players recently selected to the All-Centennial League first team in seniors Bass, Farnsworth, Izzy Giroux and Paris Elsberry along with junior Gabi Giroux. Two more players — senior Ellie Virtue and sophomore Danika Wood — earned second team all-league honors (full teams, here). He was picked to coach one of the teams in the Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports 5A All-State Game where his team with Bass and Izzy Giroux won (story).
Kingsbaker spent two season as an assistant under former coach Mark Siemer, then took over the top spot after the 2015 season.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
SMOKY HILL SOFTBALL UNDER B.J. KINGSBAKER (2016-2021)
2016: 11-11 overall (2-5 in Centennial League); 2017: 12-10 overall (4-3 in Centennial League); 2018: 15-12 overall (2-5 in Centennial League); 2019: 22-5 (6-1 in Centennial League); 2020: 16-2 overall (11-0 in Centennial League); 2021: 22-5 overall (11-1 in Centennial League). Total: 98-45 overall (36-15 in Centennial League)