PULLMAN – Pat Chun is bringing in one of the nation’s top mid-major coaches to help get Washington State’s baseball program out of its decade-long slump.
Just two weeks after firing fourth-year coach Marty Lees amid another losing season for the Cougars, Chun, the athletic director at WSU, has hired New Mexico State’s Brian Green to take over at Bailey Brayton Field, the school announced Monday.
Green’s hire was first reported by Kendall Rogers of D1 Baseball Monday morning.
WSU will formally announce Green as its 17th coach at a news conference Wednesday.
“Coach Green is an exact fit for Washington State baseball,” Chun said in a school 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. We welcome the Green family to the WSU family and are ecstatic to work together to add to our storied history.”
Per D1Baseball, Tulane coach Travis Jewett also was being considered by WSU, and “was thought to be the leading candidate.” Washington assistant and pitching coach Jason Kelly also was in the running for the position, according to the web site.
Green, 47, has spent the last five seasons coaching at his alma mater in Las Cruces, N.M., engineering a historic run for the Aggies of the Western Athletic Conference. NMSU won at least 34 games each of the past four seasons and 147 in total. The 2019 Aggies won the WAC regular season championship with a final mark of 38-17.
The offensive-minded Green coached a NMSU team that led the country in eight different categories last season: batting average, runs, runs per game, hits, triples, on base percentage, slugging percentage and hit by pitch. The Aggies also finished top 10 in the country in home runs, walks and sacrifice flies.
NMSU’s final batting average (.356) was a school record and the Aggies also shattered the single-season triples record (34). They were one hit by pitch shy of tying the school record (119) in that category, too, set by Green’s squad in 2018.
Before taking the head coaching position at NMSU, Green made multiple Power Five stops as an assistant, and worked briefly in the Pac-12 at UCLA, where he was a recruiting coordinator. In Westwood, Green was responsible for recruiting a bulk of the players who helped the Bruins win the 2013 national championship, and helped lure San Francisco Giants All-Star shortstop Brandon Crawford to UCLA.
Green also spent six seasons as a top assistant at Kentucky, where he was the offensive coordinator and infield defensive coach. In 2014, under Green’s tutelage, the Wildcats had the second-best offense in the country and the best in program history.
The Cougars are coming off an atrocious 2019 campaign in which they posted a record of 11-42-1 and went just 3-26-1 in the Pac-12.