WSU expected to hire Nathan Choate as baseball head coach

Choate brings head coaching, pitching expertise from West Coast Conference



The Oregon Ducks beat the WSU Cougars in two consecutive games to take the series including their first win, 14-8 March 18, 2023 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

WSU baseball has reportedly hired Nathan Choate, Loyola Marymount University head coach, to fill their head coach vacancy. 

A college pitcher for four years at Santa Ana College and Cal Poly, Choate’s coaching journey began with a high school assistant role at his alma mater Esperanza High School before he got a college coaching opportunity at UC Irvine.

As the pitching coordinator at UC Irvine, Choate helped the school finish fourth in the 2007 College World Series.

Choate was an assistant at UC Riverside (2008–11), the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator at Grand Canyon University (2012–16) and the pitching coach for University of San Diego (2017–18).

In 2017, Choate’s pitching staff struck out 9.7 batters per nine innings, the sixth-best mark in the nation and best in the West Coast Conference, according to

Choate moved up I-5 to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles as an assistant in 2019 and was named head coach beginning in the 2020 season.

In four seasons at the helm, Choate posted a .447 winning percentage (77-95), but a 48-33 WCC record.

Coug fans will be thrilled that his first two career head coach victories were against University of Washington — a 7-1 Valentine’s Day win, Feb. 14, 2020, and a 6-3 win Feb. 15, 2020.

Against the Pac-12 Conference, Choate’s LMU Lions were 9-23-1.

LMU won the WCC in 2023, behind a 21-6 Conference record, which paired with an 8-18 out of Conference record made for a 29-24 overall season, the reverse image of the Cougar’s 2023 season which featured a 29-win campaign comprised of 10 wins in the Pac-12 and 19 wins out of Conference.

Choate brings pitching expertise to the head coach job at WSU that the program has yet to see recently. Former head coach Brian Green, who left WSU for another WSU, Wichita State, June 4, assembled one of the most potent offenses in the Pac-12 in 2023, but saw a pitching staff that lacked depth.

The Cougars’ pitching staff struck out over 500 batters (a program single-season record) but lost leads and allowed double-digit runs in 10 games.

Choate mentored Codie Paiva, the 2019 WCC Pitcher of the Year and Nick Sprengel, USD’s ace and minor league baseball player in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.

Choate’s first task after being officially announced will be to keep the Cougar’s roster intact. Coug fans will be interested to know if current recruiting coordinator Jake Valentine, who oversaw a ‘23 team that attracted two All-Pac-12 transfers in Sam Brown and Jonah Advincula, joins Choate’s staff.

Six Cougs have entered the transfer portal since Green announced his departure, including pitchers Ryan Orr and Connor Wilford and outfielders Bryce Matthews and Nate Swarts.

All-Pac-12 players Brown and Advincula could be headed to the MLB Draft, but have college eligibility remaining after they each had excellent debut seasons at the Power Five level.