WSU Names Lees Next Baseball Coach - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

WSU Names Lees Next Baseball Coach

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Marty Lees was named the next WSU head baseball coach on Wednesday. (Photo: WSU) Marty Lees was named the next WSU head baseball coach on Wednesday. (Photo: WSU)
by WSU Athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. – Marty Lees was introduced as the Washington State University Head Baseball Coach by Cougar Director of Athletics Bill Moos, Thursday.

Lees becomes the 15th head coach in program history after spending the last three seasons as the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State and the previous 11 at Oregon State. In those 14 years he has coached 10 teams that have reached the NCAA Tournament, including two national champions with Oregon State.

“Marty brings a proven championship mentality to Cougar baseball,” said Moos. “He played a significant role in building successful programs at both Oregon State and Oklahoma State with whom we share many similarities. I am tremendously impressed with his reputation as a tireless worker especially in recruiting. His solid reputation along with his down home upbringing and family values make him the perfect fit.”

This past season the Cowboys posted a 38-20 record, falling in the NCAA Stillwater Regional, the first time in his three seasons Oklahoma State did not advance to the Regional Championship game. Along with helping lead the Cowboys to the NCAA Louisville Regional final in 2013 and a Big 12 Conference championship and NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2014, Lees thrived as Oklahoma State's recruiting coordinator. The Cowboys' first class with Lees on board was ranked No. 4 nationally by Baseball America and No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball, and followed that with a 2014 class that was ranked No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball for the second-consecutive year.

“I'm honored and privileged to be the next head baseball coach at Washington State University,” said Lees, who was part of 128 victories in his three seasons with Oklahoma State. “This is a dream come true. Washington State is a great institution with a strong community and a place I feel I can work with quality people and raise my family.

“It is important to me to be at a place that can win championships,” Lees continued. “I believe that we can do that here at Washington State. My family and I are very excited and grateful for this opportunity and I want to thank Bill Moos, President Floyd and the rest of the Cougar family for believing in me to the lead the Washington State baseball program.”

In January 2013, Lees came in at No. 6 on Baseball America's list of the nation's top 10 college assistant coaches; a list compiled from votes of 70 Division I head coaches across the country, as well as the input of more than a dozen scouts.

As the primary coach for OSU's infielders, Lees coached 13 Cowboy infielders who have earned All-Big 12 honors over the last three seasons, and in 2015, Oklahoma State recorded a .975 fielding percentage.

Lees arrived at Oklahoma State after spending the previous 11 years on the coaching staff at Oregon State, including the final three (2010-12) as the Beavers' associate head coach. Lees joined the Oregon State staff as a volunteer assistant in 2002 and moved to a full-time assistant coach in 2004. He helped coach the Beavers to three-straight College World Series berths from 2005-07, including back-to-back national championships in 2006-07.

He worked primarily as the defensive coach for infielders and catchers and also spent his last six years as the team's recruiting coordinator. While in Corvallis, he coached 30 All-Pac-10/12 Conference performers and 10 All-Americans. Under his guidance, Darwin Barney was the 2005 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, while Chris Kunda was named the conference's defensive player of the year in 2006.

Lees also established himself as a top recruiter as each of his classes as recruiting coordinator ranked in the top 25 nationally. In 2008, the Beavers' signed a class ranked No. 3, and Oregon State's 2011 recruiting class ranked in the top 10 and included Michael Conforto, who earned All-America honors as a freshman in 2012.

A native of Lakeview, Ore., Lees earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Western Oregon in 1994. He and his wife, Kristy, have three sons, Brandon, Brady and Jacob.

What They Are Saying about Marty Lees

“I'm excited for Marty. He was, in my mind, an integral part of the success of our team defenses being among the tops in the country year in and year out. A great family-oriented man, he showed characteristics of what we wanted to reflect in our program. Washington State has found a great leader, and someone who is well driven, and beyond knowledgeable at the collegiate level. I was sad to see him leave Oregon State, but understood his pursuit of a head job at a major collegiate program and I am proud to see that he has found that at Washington State University.” - Darwin Barney - Los Angeles Dodgers Infielder

"Marty Lees and his family will always be our lifelong friends. I can't tell you how much fun we have had the past three years building a baseball program based upon family, player development, and serving others. It has been a period of renewed passion for OSU baseball and Marty has made a significant impact on that process. I will forever be grateful to Marty and his wife Kristy for believing in our vision and trusting us enough to come help make OSU baseball special. I will miss them dearly. Washington State is getting a man with a great family, tremendous energy, and a true passion to make Washington State great. I could sense in his heart the excitement he felt after talking with WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos about the opportunity. His relationships across the northwest are strong and his vision for the program will be clear to all those around him. I can't wait to watch the growth of Cougar baseball. Washington State got a winner!” - Josh Holliday - Oklahoma State Head Coach

“Marty knows what it takes to win in the Pacific Northwest, and he knows the area from a recruiting standpoint. He knows talent and knows what plays both in college and as future pros. It's going to take someone with his skill set and passion to make Washington State a consistent force again in the Pac-12 Conference, and he's got what it takes to make that happen." - John Manuel - Editor-in-Chief, Baseball America

“Marty was an awesome coach when I was at Oregon State! He did a great job recruiting and it seemed like we always had great recruits. He has a great personality, high energy, and made the game fun for all of us. Marty made it very easy to give it your all and leave everything out there on the field with his motivation.” - Andrew Susac - San Francisco Giants Catcher

“Washington State could not have gotten a better person or a better coach. A coach and program should be measured by the impact they have on young men's lives and the ability to get the most out of them in the classroom and on the field. As part of WSU he will help these young men achieve at the highest possible level in the classroom and on the field. Marty has an extremely high level of integrity; if he recruited my son, I would be proud to have him become part of his program because of the impact he would have on his life by helping him become a better person and a player. It's my belief that Marty will be a great hire for Washington State and will permanently become part of the Cougar family.” - Jim Stewart - Head Coach, Chaffey Baseball Seattle

“Washington State made an outstanding hire this week by announcing Oklahoma State assistant coach Marty Lees as its replacement for Donnie Marbut. Lees, of course, developed a stellar reputation during his time as an assistant for Pat Casey at Oregon State, and has now landed as the head man in Pullman, Wash., after a successful stint as an assistant on Josh Holliday's Oklahoma State staff. Lees has a very good reputation as a recruiter, and certainly knows the lay of the land in the Pacific Northwest quite well.” - D1Baseball.com
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