Wichita State to conduct national search for baseball coach

Wichita State's Payton Tolle during an NCAA college baseball game on Saturday, March 12, 2022...
Wichita State's Payton Tolle during an NCAA college baseball game on Saturday, March 12, 2022 in Wichita, Kan. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)(Colin E. Braley | AP)
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 10:08 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It appears that Loren Hibbs’ time as Wichita State baseball coach is over. WSU athletic director Kevin Saal announced Tuesday that the school will conduct a national search for a new coach.

Hibbs took over the Shockers on an interim basis following the departure of coach Eric Wedge early this year. He guided WSU to a 30-25 record, a nine-win improvement from the previous season. Hibbs was named American Athletic Conference coach of the year, and WSU placed five players on first-team All-AAC, including player of the year Brock Rodden.

The high point of WSU’s season was a sweep of conference leader East Carolina in late April, which vaulted the Shockers into the top 25 and was their first sweep of a ranked opponent in more than 30 years. WSU was unable to maintain that high, finishing 6-10 in the final month of the season and dropping its first two games in the double-elimination AAC Tournament.

Hibbs played at WSU from 1982-84 and was an assistant coach under Gene Stephenson from 1985-92 before becoming coach at Charlotte for the next 27 seasons. Hibbs returned to WSU when he was hired by Wedge as the program’s director of baseball operations in 2019.

Hibbs had previously expressed interest in becoming full-time coach, but it looks like he will not have that opportunity. The Shockers have not reached the postseason since 2013, Stephenson’s last of 36 seasons before he was fired.

While we don’t have a definitive timeline for naming a new head coach, please know that we will work efficiently and thoughtfully,” Saal said in a statement released Tuesday morning, “and we are confident that candidate interest will be strong.”