Wichita State makes it official, hires Brian Green from Washington State as baseball coach

Wichita State announced Monday afternoon that it has reached an agreement for Washington State head coach Brian Green to be the next head coach of the Shockers baseball team.

No details about the length of the contract or Green’s annual salary were disclosed in the statement. The deal was first reported by Kendall Rogers of on Sunday.

WSU will introduce Green at a 4:30 p.m. news conference Wednesday in the home locker room at Eck Stadium. The event is free and open to the public and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

“What a monumental opportunity to lead Shocker Baseball,” Green said in the statement. “Since learning about the opportunity in the last few days, we haven’t slept and are excited to join Shocker Nation. We are fortunate to lead one of the most storied traditions in college baseball. Sharing the same bench that Gene Stephenson built is the honor of all honors.

“Shocker Nation, I can promise you that we are going to work; work hard and make it to the College World Series. Our only focus, attention and goal is to represent you in Omaha, making that dream come true once again!”

On the heels of WSU athletic director Kevin Saal’s decision not to retain interim head coach Loren Hibbs last Tuesday, multiple sources said The Eagle there was a strong mutual interest between Green and Saal.

Unlike Saal’s first two high-profile coaching hires, Paul Mills (men’s basketball) and Terry Nooner (women’s basketball), who had strong regional ties, Green’s nearly three-decade career had never before had a stop at the Midwest. The 51-year-old from Temecula, California has spent most of his career on the West Coast and Southwest.

Also unlike his other hires, Saal has a history of working with Green, dating back to their days together at the University of Kentucky. Saal worked in the UK athletics department for the six years when Green served as the Wildcats’ assistant coach from 2009 to 2014.

Since leaving Kentucky, Green has become a head coach for the past nine years with a reputation for changing programs.

“Wichita State hired one of the best coaches and human beings in the country in Brian Green,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said in the statement. “Brian is the complete package as a leader, developer, recruiter and baseball coach. That combination is hard to find, but the Shockers did it and secured a bright future with Brian Green as their leader.”

Green spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Washington State, where he compiled a 91-79 record. He inherited a program that had won just 33% of its games in the previous four years, as Green strung together three straight winning seasons in Pullman for the first time since 2010. The Cougars finished last season with their best overall record (29-23). ) under Green but his worst Pac-12 record (10-19). The Cougars, who were working toward their first regional bid since 2010, also failed to make the conference tournament in the past two seasons under Green.

The financial problems of the Washington state athletic department have recently become public, which likely played a role in Wichita State being able to remove Green. His recent contract extension was slated to keep Green at Washington state through the 2026 season, since his annual salary when he started the job was $315,000. The Eagle is still awaiting an open records request through Washington state to fulfill Green’s latest contract, which would detail required purchase money from Wichita state.

Green arrived in Washington state after a successful season at his alma mater, New Mexico state, where he posted a 158-122-1 record in five seasons, one NCAA regional appearance in 2018, and one season championship. 2019 Western Athletic Conference regular. He also engineered one of the greatest single-season trades in college baseball history, as the Aggies finished with a 34-23 record in his second season, an improvement of 23 wins from the 11-win mark in his first year.

In Green’s last four seasons, New Mexico State finished first or second in the WAC standings with an overall record of 147-84 (64% winning percentage). In the four seasons since Green left, New Mexico State has a 70-106 record (40% winning percentage).

Before becoming a head coach, Green had over a decade in Div. Assistant coaching experience with stops at San Diego (2002), Hawaii (2003-04), UCLA (2005-08) and Kentucky (2009-14). .

In both stints as head coach, Green has earned a reputation as one of the best scouts in college baseball. His recruiting classes have annually been ranked among the best in the country, as Green has leaned heavily on attracting junior college players recently to help bolster Washington State’s roster. His teams have also traditionally excelled in the classroom with a commitment to community service.

“Brian has become one of the most well-rounded and respected leaders in college baseball,” Saal said in the statement. “After nine years leading two unique programs in distinctly different leagues, Brian has led to unprecedented and transformative results.

“Brian’s work ethic, attention to detail and commitment to purpose drive record recruiting and player development results. Additionally, through his dynamic personality, engaging approach, and authentic connections, Brian has become an invaluable member of his community.”

Green has a lot of work to do in his first days on the job as he must try to stabilize a program with at least 28 players from last season’s roster currently on the transfer portal. While those players are still eligible to return to WSU next season, many on social media cited WSU’s decision to change coaches as the reason for getting on the portal. The only player with a modicum of experience remaining on the WSU roster is two-way superstar Payton Tolle.

Monday’s announcement marked the conclusion of a nationwide search for Saal that lasted just under a week. The Shockers are coming off a season in which they posted a 30-25 record and a third-place finish in the American Athletic Conference, as Hibbs earned Coach of the Year honors from his teammates. But WSU floundered in the final stretch of the season, going winless in the conference tournament and missing the NCAA tournament for the 10th straight year.