Machado accepts job at Cal State Northridge
Dennis Machado's coaching career moved forward when he joined Cal State Northridge as an assistant earlier this month.
His future as the Peninsula Oilers coach, however, isn't so clear.
"I'm not sure how that will affect the Oilers. I haven't gotten that far yet with how everything is going to go. I'm kind of uncertain about what's going to happen," Machado said by phone Wednesday. "Either way, if I do go back the entire coaching staff will be back. They all want to come back, which is a really good start with what we were able to do last year. A lot of that fell on those guys."
Machado, who graduated from Kenai Central High School, led the Oilers to their first Alaska Baseball League regular-season championship since 2006 this past summer.
The team then placed second at the National Baseball Congress World Series under the leadership of Machado and assistants Kyle Richardson and John Stevens.
But the Oilers have since parted ways with former general manager Shawn Maltby. Machado then accepted the job with Northridge, where he will focus on coaching the pitchers after holding a similar post at Cal State Bakersfield. The coach and his wife also are expecting a child soon.
So Machado has yet to commit to another season with the central Kenai Peninsula's summer nine, though he said he has a "general agreement" with the Oilers about the direction the organization is headed.
A call to Oilers Board President Albert Parra wasn't immediately returned, and the organization has yet to name a new general manager.
What Machado does know is he wants the same supporting cast around him in the event he returns.
In addition to Richardson and Stevens, that includes volunteer John Kennedy, who is the baseball and volleyball coach at Kenai Central.
"If I'm going back, having those guys back is the most important thing," Machado said. "I think the Oilers are in really good hands. They are going to be able to move forward and do things the way the Oilers do things, which is as a first-class organization."
If Machado returns, he will see a new-look ABL.
The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks will rejoin the league after playing a partial schedule as a nonleague member last season.
And the Athletes in Action Fire, which had played in Fairbanks before playing all their "home" games at away venues this past summer, are moving to Eagle River under a new name for the 2012 campaign.
Machado said the return of the Goldpanners will be good for the league.
"100 percent," he said. "The Goldpanners are historically one of those most tradition-rich programs in summer baseball. To be able to have them back is great."
Now the question is whether Machado will be back.