Brian Green leaves WSU for … WSU

WSU baseball coach Brian Green leaves Pullman for Wichita State.



“It’s our responsibility to be great off the field and if we can do that, we can be great on the field,” Brian Green stated at his introductory press conference in 2019. In his four year tenure, the Cougs failed to reach the postseason.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

After four years at the helm of WSU baseball, the Cougars’ skipper Brian Green is expected to take the head coaching job at Wichita State.

Overall, Green owned a winning record at WSU of 91-79, but a losing Pac-12 Conference record of 35-54.

Green’s tenure at WSU was full of promise. Beginning in the pandemic-effected 2020 season with a 9-7 record and posting a 26-23 record in 2021, Green’s program improved its overall win total each season but saw its Pac-12 Conference record decline.

In 2021, the Cougs were 13-17 in Conference play, in 2022 they were 12-18 in Conference but posted one more regular season win overall (27-26). In 2023, the Cougs won 29 games but only 10 were Conference victories.

Wazzu missed the newly formed Pac-12 baseball Tournament in each of the last two seasons, finishing ninth when the top eight teams made the postseason and 10th when the Pac-12 expanded the field to the top nine teams.

Green joins a Witcha State baseball program that has posted a winning season in 2023, but failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the 10th straight year.

He was unable to reach the tournament with Wazzu and was under contract through 2026.

The skipper identified and attracted promising talent from throughout the northwest region and nation to win 53% of his games over four years after the previous WSU regime won just 33% of their games.

In 2023, four out of five of the Cougars’ All-Pac-12 selections had transferred to Wazzu after a year or two at a junior college or another university.

Green attracted premium transfer talents such as Jacob McKeon in 2021 and Sam Brown and Jonah Advincula in 2023.

McKeon won the 2019 Junior College National Championship with Central Arizona Community College. He was the first Coug since New York Yankees relief pitcher Ian Hamilton (2014–15) to earn All-Pac-12 honors in back-to-back seasons.

Brown transferred to WSU in 2023 from University of Portland and did not miss a beat as he earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors in a season in which he was in the top 10 in six Pac-12 hitting categories.

Advincula joined McKeon and Brown for the club lead in hits (70), provided terrific defense in centerfield and complied an excellent 1.020 OPS.

Green’s pitching staff set the program’s single-season strikeout record in 2023 with 518 strikeouts, breaking his own program record total from the prior season (473 in 2022).

All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention Dakota Hawkins and senior Caden Kaelber paced the Cougs with 92 and 87 strikeouts respectively.

Hawkins’ 92 Ks were the fourth most by any Pac-12 pitcher in 2023 and the ninth-most single season Ks in WSU history. Kaelber struck out the fifth-most hitters in the Conference.

Despite a record number of strikeouts, the WSU pitching staff was usually the weakest link of a team that saw leads vanish and allowed double-digit runs in eight Pac-12 Conference games.

“With the caliber of starting athletes we currently have on the team, our incoming signing class and our state-of-the-art Cougar Baseball Complex, the WSU Baseball program is on an upward trajectory. We look forward to building on this foundation with our next Washington State Baseball Head Coach,” WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun said in a statement.

Several Coug fans advocated in the comments of Chun’s statement on WSU Athletics’ Twitter that WSU hire Jake Valentine, WSU baseball assistant coach/recruiting coordinator to step into the head coaching role.

Valentine spent his first year at WSU in 2023 welcoming a pair of star-studded hitters in Advincula and Brown through the transfer portal.

Whatever Chun chooses to do, the Cougs hope to find a coach who can lead WSU back to the college baseball playoffs in Omaha for the first time since 2010.