Since you’ve been gone: key summer news from WSU athletics


Former guard Lia Galderia goes up for a layup during a game against Nebraska on Nov. 19, 2014 in Beasley Coliseum.

One word to describe the summer for WSU Athletics is change.

The biggest story of the summer is the hiring of WSU baseball Head Coach Marty Lees. The 15th Head Coach in program history spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State University. Lees helped the Cowboys win 128 games during those three years.

Prior to OSU, Lees was a part of the coaching staff at Oregon State University for 10 seasons. During that stretch, the Beavers won two national championships.

“I’m honored and privileged to be the next baseball coach at Washington State University,” Lees said in his introductory press conference back in early June. “This is a dream come true. Washington State University is a great institution with a strong community and a place I feel I can work with quality people and raise my family.”

WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos is confident Lees can get the job done in Pullman.

“Marty brings a proven championship mentality to Cougar baseball,” Moos said at the same press conference. “He played a significant role in building successful programs at both Oregon State and Oklahoma State, whom we share many similarities.”

Moos hired Lees after firing former WSU baseball Head Coach Donnie Marbut in May. Moos said his reasoning for letting Marbut go was for a “necessary change in leadership for Cougar baseball.”

A star leaves early

The WSU women’s basketball program also had a large change this summer.

Former WSU guard Lia Galdeira announced in early July she would forgo her final season on the Palouse in order to begin her professional career a year early. Galdeira will play professionally in Europe and will then focus on reaching the WNBA, according to

“I’d like to thank Washington State University, for allowing me to be a part of the Cougar family,” Galdeira said in a press release. “I am very thankful and blessed to be a part of such an amazing program and playing for one of the most respected and down to earth coaches, June Daugherty, and her staff.”

Galdeira was a three-time All-Pac-12 player and led the Cougars in scoring last season with an average of 20 points per game.

Football adds an outside weapon

WSU football’s receiving corps got a little bit more explosive this year when sophomore wide receiver Kyrin Priester became eligible to play for the Cougars this upcoming season.

Priester transferred to WSU from Clemson last November, and was supposed to sit out this season as a result of the NCAA’s transfer rules. However, Priester and WSU won an appeal to the NCAA that will allow the former Clemson wide receiver to play a year early.