PULLMAN, Wash. - Brian Green is the 17th head baseball coach in Washington State Cougar history, and he showed how much that means to him in an emotional press conference in Pullman Wednesday.
Brian Green comes to WSU after five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater New Mexico State where he led the Aggies to a 2019 Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship and an NCAA Regional appearance in 2018. Green led NMSU to an historic four-year stretch that saw the Aggies record 34 wins or more in each of the last four seasons and also signed four-straight nationally recognized recruiting classes along the way. Green has appeared in nine NCAA Regionals as a head coach or assistant coach at the Division I level.
“For over a century, there has been a storied history associated with Washington State Baseball,” said Chun. “That history includes NCAA Tournament and College World Series appearances as well as a tremendous group of alumni that have done some extraordinary things with their respective lives beyond Cougar Baseball. The next chapter of our history begins today.
“Bringing Becki, Emily, Zoe and Brian Green to the Coug Family is our first step in the new chapter,” Chun continued. “Coach Green is an exact fit for Washington State baseball. 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.”
In his five years at NMSU, Green produced nine All-Americans including three 2019 first-team selections, 26 All-WAC honorees, a pair of Player of the Year selections, one Pitcher of the Year, one Freshman of the Year, and 22 WAC All-Academic selections. Since 2016, Green has helped send 12 players to the professional ranks, including a trio of top six round picks the last three years.
“It’s hard to find the words to describe my excitement level of being named the 17th Head Coach in Washington State Baseball history!” said Green. “With the leadership team that Pat Chun has put together, the facility upgrades about to break ground, and the fact that it’s Washington State and the Pac-12, this is unbelievable. We can’t wait to immerse ourselves into this great community and get this program fired up. What a great day! Go Cougs!”
Green’s offense finished the 2019 regular season with a NMSU-record .356 batting average and led the country in batting average, runs, runs per game, hits, triples, on base percentage, slugging percentage and hit by pitch. Individually, shortstop Joey Ortiz was named the WAC Player of the Year, a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award (best shortstop in the country) and Dick Howser Award (best player in the country) while second baseman Nick Gonzales was also a semifinalist for the Howser Award and the Golden Spikes Award (national player of the year).
Defensively, the Aggies posted an impressive .974 fielding percentage a year after breaking the single-season school record with a .977 clip in 2018. On the mound, Green watched Chance Hroch put together one of the best seasons by an Aggie pitcher in program history, finishing with a 10-1 mark and a 2.74 ERA in 15 starts while earning first team All-Conference accolades.
Off the field, Green's program earned the NMSU Athletics Community Service Award for the fourth straight year in 2019 and set the program attendance record for the fourth time since 2015. The program accumulated over 6,000 hours of Community Service since Green took over the program.
Green guided the Aggies to a historic season in 2018, leading the team to a 40-22 overall record, a 17-7 mark in WAC play, the first WAC Tournament title and the fourth NCAA Regional appearance in program history. In his second season, Green guided the Aggies to the best win improvement in all of college baseball. The turnaround was a few wins shy of the biggest turnaround in NCAA history. After compiling a record of 11-38-1 in 2015, Green and the Aggies finished 2016 with a record of 34-23.
Prior to making a return to New Mexico State, Green was an assistant coach at Kentucky for six seasons (2009-14) where he transformed the Wildcat offensive attack as UK’s offensive coordinator and infield defensive coach. Green’s dynamic offense was paced by one of the best players in the history of college baseball in 2014, two-way star and Golden Spikes Award Winner, AJ Reed. The first pick of the second round in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, Reed was named the Dick Howser Trophy Award winner, the Baseball America College Player of the Year, and the John Olerud Award, given to the nation’s top two-way player.
A native of Temecula, Calif., Green was a four-year assistant coach at UCLA (2005-08) before going to Kentucky as one of the top hitting instructors in college baseball. Green helped lead the Bruins to three consecutive NCAA Regional appearances and to the Super Regionals in 2007. Green’s shortstop at UCLA, Brandon Crawford, solidified himself as one of the best young shortstops in the big leagues while playing with the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants and earned another championship ring in 2014.
Other stops for Green include Hawaii, Oregon State, San Diego, Chapman University, Cal Poly-Pomona, Riverside Community College and New Mexico State.
Green, 45, graduated from New Mexico State with a degree in business management in 1995 and earned his Master’s degree in education from National University in 1997. He is married to the former Becki Francis and they have two daughters, Emily and Zoe.
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