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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Baseball coach Brian Green energizes team in first season with the Shockers

Kristy Mace
Head baseball coach Brian Green focuses on the game from the dugout against Oklahoma State University. Wichita State lost 9-5 at Riverfront Stadium on April 10.

Wichita State baseball head coach Brian Green’s dream is to make it to a college world series as an ode to his work and his wife, Becky. 

“I’ve been married for 26 years, (and) we have one career life ambition,” Green said. 

When he started coaching, Green did not make enough money to sustain his family and himself. He said going to the college world series would be the payoff to years of work and sacrifice.

Wichita State’s Athletics Department named Green as its fifth modern baseball head coach on June 7. Green replaced interim head coach Loren Hibbs. 

“When the Shockers called, I was ecstatic because if you’re a baseball guy, this is one of the storied programs in college baseball,” Green said. 

When he took over, Green had only three players on the roster. He convinced eight players to return and recruited 34 new players

Green said it was hard to get returning players to return because he had to establish trust. He convinced new players to join the team by reminding them about the history of Wichita State baseball. 

Returning sophomore Jaden Gustafson said the team has changed a lot since going through different coaches. He said previous coaches were focused on an old-school style, while Green gives the team an old-school mentality and combines it with newer technology. 

“I think he just does a good job of keeping us focused, keeping us energized, and making sure that we’re a tough team,” Gustafson said. 

Sophomore newcomer Caleb Anderson said Green has kept the team young and energized. 

“You wouldn’t think that this team hasn’t done much in the postseason the last 10 years; you would think that we come out every day,” Anderson said. 

Green said the philosophy he tries to instill into the team is to take it one pitch at a time, with the energy staying constant even in the dugout. 

Anderson said that as a pitcher, the message resonates with him because he can’t focus on the next few innings.

“You can’t be thinking about your second and third out; you have to be thinking about … staying within that pitch,” Anderson said. 

Before taking his position with the Shockers, Green had nine seasons as a Division l head coach under his belt at New Mexico State and Washington State, accumulating a 249-201-1 record and leading seven teams to an NCAA Regional as head coach or assistant head coach. 

Green said he has figured out what works for him and what enables his teams to be successful in all facets of the game, which was made possible by learning from different coaches such as Dennis Rogers, Pat Casey and John Savage. 

“Having an opportunity to work for great coaches and knowing that they were great at the time, I really grabbed things that they did that I didn’t do,” Green said. 

On Feb 16., Wichita State played its first baseball game of the season, annihilating Little Rock, 18-5. 

“I was really nervous before the game, and our guys went out and played like we had been together for 15 years,” Green said.

He said after the post-game speech, senior Seth Stroh gave him the game ball and spoke up, congratulating Green on his first win as a Shocker. 

As the season progresses, Green said he is excited about where the team is headed. 

“I know it’s early,” Green said, “but I just feel like the direction of the program is in a really good position right now.”

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About the Contributors
Melanie Rivera-Cortez
Melanie Rivera-Cortez, Sports Editor
Kristy Mace
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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