New Wazzu coach Brian Green (l) (NMSU)


Washington State hires NMSU’s Brian Green

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Washington State has hired New Mexico State’s Brian Green as its new coach.

The Cougars had been on the search for a new coach for a couple of weeks after parting ways with Marty Lees before the final regular season series. WSU athletic director Patrick Chun has tabbed Green, 47, as the next head man.

Green heads to Pullman, Wash., with a wealth of experience in different parts of the country. He spent time as an assistant at San Diego, Hawaii and most notably, UCLA and Kentucky, before leaving the Wildcats to become the head man at New Mexico State.

Before his arrival at NMSU, the Aggies had made just three postseason appearances in program history.  Green won 30-plus games four times with the Aggies, including engineering quite a turnaround, going from 11-38-1 in 2015 to 34-23 in 2016. But Green made his biggest wave with the Aggies last season when they won 40 games and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012. NMSU also put together a strong 2019 campaign, going 38-17 overall and 19-8 in the WAC. The Aggies didn’t make the NCAA field after bowing out in the conference tournament.

Green’s hiring at Washington State puts a wrap on what was an uneventful coaching search for the most part. The Cougars and Tulane head coach Travis Jewett also had discussions, and Jewett was thought to be the leading candidate early in the process. In the end, Jewett and the Cougars went their separate ways. Washington assistant and pitching coach Jason Kelly also was a candidate for the opening.

The energetic head coach now has the tough chore of turning the Cougars into a winner.

Washington State finished the 2019 campaign with an 11-42-1 overall record and a dismal 3-26-1 mark in the Pac 12. WSU hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2010. And while it made back-to-back appearances in 2009 and 2010, before that, it hadn’t made the NCAA postseason since 1990.

No coaching hire is considered a guarantee, but Green has recent success turning a struggling program into a big winner in the WAC. Now, he hopes to accomplish the same goal in the Pac 12.

A new era has begun for Washington State.

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