Bakersfield High School

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Bakersfield High School
1241 G Street

United States
Coordinates35°22′09″N 119°01′22″W / 35.36917°N 119.02278°W / 35.36917; -119.02278Coordinates: 35°22′09″N 119°01′22″W / 35.36917°N 119.02278°W / 35.36917; -119.02278
School districtKern High School District
PrincipalDavid Reese
Staff109.32 (FTE)[1]
Grades9 to 12
Enrollment2,906 (2017-18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio26.58[1]
Color(s)Blue and white         
Athletics conferenceSouthwest Yosemite League
CIF Central Section
Team nameDrillers
NewspaperBlue and White
A view from the science building looking out on Griffith Field
The people of Bakersfield are discussing a high-speed rail line that might go through the Bakersfield High School campus.[2]
The Harvey Memorial Auditorium

Bakersfield High School (BHS) is a high school located in Bakersfield, California, United States.

Institutional names and dates of operation:

  • Kern County High School 1893–1915
  • Kern County Union High School 1915–1945
  • Bakersfield High School 1945–present
  • Bakersfield Junior College 1913–1956
  • Bakersfield Adult (Night) School 1917–1985

It was the only high school in Bakersfield until 1937, when East Bakersfield High School was opened. The first name change, adding the word "Union," came when the high school separated from the Bakersfield City School District. Then it was known informally as K.C. or Kay Cee High School. It was formally renamed by the school board in 1945.[3]


The school has been in the same location since its inception, though most of the buildings have been reconstructed. The 1952 Kern County earthquake precipitated a great deal of reconstruction.[3]

It hosts several buildings, each with multiple floors. One of its most prominent buildings is Harvey Auditorium, which houses a main theater and one little theater, in addition to a number of classrooms. It serves as a venue for the local arts community. There are two Industrial Arts buildings, which house both a functioning automotive garage along with a wood shop and weight room and fitness center. With a student population just over 2,800, it has the largest student body on one of the smallest campuses (25 acres) in the Kern High School District.

Notable alumni[edit]


At BHS another long-standing tradition has been community service. Throughout its history BHS students have contributed countless amounts of money, food and clothing to the poor, have given up tens of thousands of hours to cleaning up their community, and even started a new environmentally friendly electronics waste recycling committee run by the BHS Virtual Business Team. This "E-waste" recycling club is the first of its kind in the Kern High School District.[citation needed]


The BHS Drillers have been competing in football since 1896. The Drillers hold the California state records for most state football titles (8), and the most section championships (36), commonly called valley titles for being within the San Joaquin Valley. In 2013 Bakersfield High won the CIF Division I State title over Loomis-Del Oro played at the Home Depot Center at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson. Bakersfield High has the most wins in California high school football history, running neck and neck with Long Beach Poly at a close number two. Bakersfield has 737 wins as of the end of the 2013 season, Long Beach Poly has 734. It clinched its 700th win, the first team in California to do so, on October 23, 2009, in that season's Homecoming game. The most recognized Driller alum is Frank Gifford, who played college football both at Bakersfield College and the University of Southern California, and pro football with the New York Giants. Gifford is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was a part of the legendary Monday Night Football broadcasting team with "Dandy Don" Meredith and Howard Cosell during the 1970s and 80's on ABC television. The Drillers have called Griffith Field their home field since 1923. The field features a monolithic concrete structure for home seating on the western home side with the Drillers locker rooms inside it. The field is unusual in that the visiting eastern bleachers are located on the grass inside the dirt practice track. The bleachers run from end zone to end zone with the front row only about 12-feet away from the sideline with nothing separating the fans from the field. Griffith Field can seat approximately 8,000 spectators. Griffith Field is scheduled to undergo a massive renovation project to be completed in time for the 2016 season.[23]

In 1906 Bakersfield High joined a large number of high schools and colleges across the nation and played under the Rugby Football Union rules instead of American Football due to the large amount of nationwide deaths playing football in the 1905 season.

The Bakersfield High football tradition was the basis of the movie The Best of Times starring Kurt Russell and Robin Williams. The story is based on an actual football game in the mid-1970s between mighty Bakersfield High and the small ill-respected Kern County oil town Taft High Wildcats.

The school has also enjoyed success beyond the gridiron, including six state championships in track and field—amazingly without having an official track to practice on—and two state championships in wrestling.[24] The wrestling team's 2002 championship squad set state records for points, champions, placers, and finalists.[25]

The school also won the Southern CIF in 2013.


  1. ^ a b c "Bakersfield High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2010-06-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-26. Retrieved 2011-03-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Larry Barnes Statistics and History". Baseball Reference. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "Theo Bell, ex-Driller and NFL player, dead at 52". Bakersfield Californian. June 22, 2006. Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  6. ^ Gustkey, Earl (October 14, 1994). "Buckey Is Doing the Impressing Now". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  7. ^ Stevens, Tyler (December 28, 2012). "Finding Fame: Ric Drasin". Bakersfield Life. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  8. ^ Duncan, Robert (2012). Robert Duncan: The Collected Early Poems and Plays. University of California Press. p. xxii. ISBN 9780520953628.
  9. ^ Ewing, Zach (November 10, 2012). "Gifford celebrated with hall of Fame ceremony at BHS". Bakersfield Californian. Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "JERRY MARION". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  11. ^ Garofoli, Joe (January 1, 2011). "Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield is 3rd in House GOP". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  12. ^ Karimi, Faith (September 20, 2014). "North Korea: Imprisoned American wanted to become 'second Snowden'". Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  13. ^ Evans, Jeff (December 13, 2012). "Four to be inducted to Elias Hall of Fame". Bakersfield Californian. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  14. ^ Cave, Leanne (May 1, 2013). "Former Renegade athletes will be honored at BHS hall of fame dinner". The Renegade Rip. Bakersfield College. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  15. ^ Press, Larry (February 12, 1977). "Dealt with Murcer for Cubs' Madlock Steve Ontiveros happy with trade". Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  16. ^ Ferguson, George (June 15, 1970). "Osuna-Ralston friendship". The Deseret News. Google News. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  17. ^ Cave, Leanne Brock (May 10, 2010). "Driller Football Hall of Fame to honor 7 more greats". Bakersfield Californian. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  18. ^ Evans, Jeff (May 11, 2007). "Siemon reached top at every level". Bakersfield Californian. Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  19. ^ Cousineau, Ann (August 29, 2012). "View the Valley Snapshots page Valley Snapshots Retired NFL player, Iraq veteran to speak at parade". The News Review. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  20. ^ Cave, Leanne (December 7, 2001). "BC football alumnus gives back to community". The Renegade Rip. Bakersfield College. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  21. ^ Bates, Daniel (March 11, 2013). "Parents of fallen $20m NBA star who fled filthy foreclosed home 'fell into trap of chasing the money', claims his high school coach". The Daily Mail. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  22. ^ Pucin, Diane (October 12, 2012). "U.S. wrestler Jake Varner earns gold medal at London Olympics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2013-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Bakersfield High School in 1917

Further reading[edit]

  • Van Horne, Rick; Bumerts, John; Frank, Gary (2006). Friday Night Heroes: 100 Years of Driller Football. Bakersfield, CA: Rick Van Horne. ISBN 0-9786071-0-4.

External links[edit]