He produced WSU’s first winning record on diamond since Bobo Brayton, but team went just 11-19 in Pac-12 play this season.
PULLMAN — Donnie Marbut’s decade as Washington State baseball coach ended Tuesday, when athletic director Bill Moos fired him.
“Though Donnie and his staff have worked hard over the past 11 years, it is my feeling that a change in leadership at this time was necessary to get Cougar baseball back to a position of prominence,” Moos said in a statement.
Marbut’s WSU coaching career produced a 314-304 record, the first winning mark for a Cougar baseball coach since the late Chuck “Bobo” Brayton, who coached from 1962 to 1994.
Marbut had received a contract extension after the 2014 season and the Cougars finished the 2015 season with a 29-27 record to finish above .500 for the first time since 2010, but WSU was just 11-19 against Pac-12 competition this season.
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Last year, the Cougars finished just one game shy of a .500 conference record.
While Marbut was initially successful after taking the reins of the program in 2005, guiding the Cougars to postseason appearances in 2009 and 2010, the second half of his tenure in Pullman was rocky.
Known as a relentless recruiter that would routinely visit high-school prospects in person rather than sending an assistant, Marbut also made his mark as a fundraiser at WSU.
But in a Spokesman-Review story that ran Sunday, Marbut was critical of WSU’s baseball facilities and expressed frustration that more hasn’t been done to build a dedicated baseball clubhouse adjacent to Bailey-Brayton Field.
Historically, the baseball program at WSU has been strong and the Cougars have made 16 NCAA tournament appearances. Comparatively, the football and men’s basketball programs have appeared in a combined 17 bowl games and NCAA tournaments.