PULLMAN — Cougar baseball has found its new head coach.
Washington State went to the top of the mid-major ranks to snag Brian Green of New Mexico State to fill the head coaching vacancy left when the school fired coach Marty Lees last month in the midst of his fourth season at the helm.
WSU athletic director Patrick Chun announced the hire Monday.
Green comes to the Palouse with a hefty resume.
The former Aggie spent the last five seasons at his alma mater, leading NMSU to a Western Athletic Conference regular-season title this season and an NCAA regional appearance in 2018.
Green’s Aggies posted a program-record 34 wins or more over each of the last four seasons.
“Coach Green is an exact fit for Washington State baseball,” Chun said in a news release. “He is focused on family, recruits to his core values, develops the entire student-athlete and has proven to be an extraordinary builder of teams.”
Green orchestrated quite the rebuild at NMSU — something his predecessors failed to do at WSU. The Aggies leapt from a 11-38-1 record in 2015 to 34-23 in ’16. They culminated at 40 wins in 2018.
The team broke program records for batting average (.356) and triples (34) this season, and led the nation in several hitting categories, including batting average, runs, runs per game, hits, triples, on base percentage, slugging percentage and hit by pitch. Individually, shortstop Joey Ortiz was named the WAC Player of the Year.
Green owns an overall record of 158–120–1.
“It’s hard to find the words to describe my excitement level of being named the 17th head coach in Washington State Baseball history,” Green said in a news release. “With the leadership team that Pat Chun has put together, the facility upgrades about to break ground, and the fact that it’s Washington State and the Pac-12, this is unbelievable. We can’t wait to immerse ourselves into this great community and get this program fired up.”
Green was not made available to the media. He will be introduced formerly Wednesday, the school said.
Green isn’t new to the Pac-12. Green spent time as an assistant at UCLA from 2005-08, and was a volunteer assistant at Oregon Sate in 2001. He also had stints as an assistant at Kentucky, San Diego and Hawaii.
At WSU, Green is tasked with rebuilding a program that finished a disappointing 11-42-1 this season and hasn’t posted a winning record since it went 29-27 in 2015.
“For over a century, there has been a storied history associated with Washington State Baseball,” Chun said. “That history includes NCAA Tournament and College World Series appearances as well as a tremendous group of alumni that have done some extraordinary things with their respective lives beyond Cougar Baseball.
“The next chapter of our history begins today.”
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 208-883-4629 and on Twitter @stephansports.