WICHITA – Wichita State University Director of Athletics Kevin Saal released the following statement this morning regarding the need for WSU to move forward and begin searching for a new head coach, and thanked the work that interim head coach Loren Hibbs.
Dear Shocker Nation,
Over the last eight months, we have examined the state of our treasured baseball program, its recent challenges and what is needed moving forward. After careful and comprehensive thought – considering all factors and circumstances – we will launch a national search for a new Head Baseball Coach.
These decisions weigh heavy on our hearts, because of their resulting impact on the people we care most deeply about… our student-athletes, coaches and Shocker Nation. We want to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Interim Head Coach Loren Hibbs and our entire staff – Mike Pelfrey, Mike Sirianni, Nate Brisco, Conor Behrens and Lottie Talbott – for their commitment to our Baseball program and student-athletes during excessively challenging times. Coach Hibbs returned to Wichita State in an administrative capacity, after leading UNC Charlotte Baseball for nearly three decades. While we’re certain he did not return to Wichita with the intent to serve as head coach, we are grateful for his willingness to step forward on short notice, providing invaluable experience and leadership during a time of transition.
Shocker Baseball has a rich and storied tradition of success, having won 37 league championships and earned 27 NCAA Tournament berths in its history, including two Super Regionals, seven College World Series appearances and one National Championship. Additionally, our program maintains a tradition for developing elite student-athletes boasting 56 college All-Americans, 42 Major League Baseball players and 15 first-round draft picks.
Our history and tradition define future success for this program. To progressively compete for league championships, deep runs in the NCAA Tournament and national championships, we must maintain a selfless commitment to purpose, an elite attention to detail, and a sense of urgency to return this program to Omaha.
While we don’t have a definitive timeline for naming a new head coach, please know that we will work efficiently and thoughtfully, and we are confident that candidate interest will be strong.
Transitions are always challenging, and we commend our student-athletes, coaches and staff for admirably navigating adversity these last many months. Our student-athletes are determined and have never given up the fight for Wichita. We appreciate their stated desire and displayed commitment to returning this program to greatness.
Thank you for your patience and support during this transition.
Kevin Saal, Director of Athletics