Head Coach Brad Hill
- Guided the Wildcats to a school record 45 wins, the program's first Big 12 regular-season championship and a NCAA Regional host site selection in 2013
- Led K-State to a then-school record 43 wins in 2009 and the program's first ever NCAA Regional
- Coached relief pitcher Daniel Edwards to third-team All-American honors, the school's first All-American since 1999
- Led K-State to its first Big 12 Championship Title Game in 2008
- Tutored RHP A.J. Morris to consensus All-American honors in 2009, OF Nick Martini to second team honors in 2010, and both Jared King and Ross Kivett to All-America honors in 2013
- Six Freshman All-Americans (Ben Hornbeck, 2006; Thomas Rooke, 2008; James Allen, 2009; Nick Martini, 2009; Jared King, 2011; Jake Matthys, 2013)
- 2009 and 2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year
- 2009 American Baseball Coaches' Association (ABCA) Midwest Region Coach of the Year
- 2003 NCAA Division II National Championship
- Winningest Head Coach in Central Missouri State history (418)
- 2003 NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year
- Seven-time Central Region Coach of the Year (1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)Seven-time Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Coach of the Year (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003)
- Inducted into the Central Missouri State Hall of Fame in 2009
K-State Under Brad Hill
- 954 - Current four-year APR average
- 338 - Wins at K-State
- 188 - Wins over the last five years, a school record
- 55 - Times setting individual school records
- 53 - Academic All-Big 12 selections
- 51 - Times setting team school records
- 45 - Wins in 2013, a school record
- 43 - Wins in 2009, the second most school record
- 37 - Wins in 2010, the third most in school history
- 36 - Wins in 2011, the fourth most in school history
- 41 - All-Big 12 Selections
- 36 - MLB Draft Picks
- 16 - Conference victories in 2013, a school record
- 14 - Conference victories in 2009 and 2010, a school record at the time
- 10 - Top-10 round draft picks
- 7 - Academic All-District Honors
- 6 - Freshman All-Americans
- 5 - Top-five draft picks, equaling the previous 43 years combined
- 4 - NCAA regional appearances
- 3 - Academic All-American selections
- 3 - 2010 Big 12 finish, a then-program best
- 4 - Conference Player, Pitcher or Newcomer of the Year honors
- 3 - Coach of the Year honors (2009 and 2013 Big 12 and ABCA Midwest Region)
- 1 - Consensus first team All-American
- 1 - Big 12 finish in 2013, a program best
Contact Coach Hill
Coach Brad Hill
2009 & 2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year
Hard work and determination have fueled Kansas State baseball since Brad Hill was introduced as the 20th head coach in program history during the summer of 2003. And, in just 10 years, Hill has taken a program that was coming off six-straight seasons of bottom-half Big 12 finishes and turned it into a national power.
During his time as the K-State skipper, Hill has guided the Wildcats from the depths of the league to four NCAA Regional appearances, a Super Regional berth and the first conference championship since 1933. The success, which reached an all-time high in 2013, is a continuation of a stellar career in which Hill has amassed a winning percentage of .693 (756-334-3) at four-year schools, which ranks seventh nationally among active coaches.
Hill has also had a keen eye on evaluating talent and then developing those players as his squads have produced 57 draft selections since 2005, including 38 in the past five years alone and 27 that went undrafted out of high school. K-State has seen an increase each year of players taken in the MLB Draft, capped by a school record four top-10 round draft picks in 2011. In 2013, Jared King was drafted in the fifth round to give K-State five top-five round draft picks since 2009, equaling the total of the previous 43 years combined.
K-State baseball players have also gained numerous national accolades under Hill's guidance. In the first 106 years of the program, the Wildcats accumulated 14 All-American designations, while K-State has produced 19 All-America honors in the last seven seasons alone, including first team honors by A.J. Morris (2009) and James Allen (2011).
Not only has Kansas State baseball excelled on the field, but Hill has put an emphasis on his players' performance in the classroom. Under Hill, the Cats have had 53 Academic All-Big 12 selections as well as seven Academic All-District honors and two Academic All-Americans (Brett Scott in 2007 and 2008; Jason King in 2011). In addition, K-State's Academic Progress Rate (APR) has steadily improved, now reflecting an outstanding four-year average of 954.
The 2013 season proved to be the most storied in program history as Hill's players formed a unity unlike any other team early in fall camp and used that resilient togetherness to produce the school record for wins, the program's first Big 12 Championship and a NCAA Regional host site selection, while the Wildcats finished just one win shy of reaching the College World Series.
K-State, which was predicted to finish seventh in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches' Poll, made the biggest jump by a regular-season championship in league history as the Wildcats broke the school record for conference victories with 16. Teamed with the football and men's basketball titles in 2012-13, the baseball team completed a feat of conference championships in one academic year that had only been accomplished one other time in Big 12 history and just three other times nationally during the BCS era.
K-State, which set a school record for final ranking at 13th, used the Big 12 Championship and momentum in the conference tournament to secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats, who were making just their fourth ever NCAA Regional appearance, swept the NCAA Manhattan Regional with wins over in-state rival Wichita State, Bryant and 13th-ranked Arkansas.
Hill, who was named the 2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year, saw a school-record seven players earn All-Big 12 First Team honors, including Player of the Year Ross Kivett, Freshman of the Year Jake Matthys and Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year Jared King. Both Kivett and King went on to earn All-America accolades.
Hill got the most out of his team when it counted the most in 2012 as he led the Wildcats to the postseason for the sixth-straight season. K-State won its way to the Big 12 Championship as it took two-of-three from Kansas in the home finale before winning the first two games in the regular-season series finale at Texas Tech - just the third series win in Lubbock in school history. Additionally, Hill tutored at least three players to All-Big 12 honors for a third-consecutive season, while K-State placed second on the Academic All-Big 12 squad, which tied the school record.
Although K-State reached another NCAA Regional in 2011, the beginning of the season did not go as planned for Hill and K-State as they were on the outside looking in when it came to qualifying for even the conference championship. After sitting at 20-15 overall and 5-10 in conference play, the Wildcats needed a strong finish just to make the conference tournament. That is exactly what happened as Hill tutored the Wildcats to a 16-8 finish in their final 22 games, including a 7-4 mark against league foes to place sixth in the Big 12 and qualify for their fifth-straight conference championship.
Hill's coaching and motivation didn't stop there as, at the Big 12 Championship, K-State defeated No. 12 Oklahoma twice to compile 36 wins and earn the program's third-straight NCAA tournament berth.
While many preseason prognosticators doubted the 2010 Wildcats, Hill raised the bar of success at K-State. The Cats continued their trend of improvement in 2010 as he guided his team to a third-place finish in the Big 12 standings - their highest since the league's inception in 1997, after K-State was predicted to finish as low as ninth in some Big 12 preseason polls.
K-State also registered the second most wins in school history with 37, second to the 2009 season total of 43, thanks in part to six players that earned All-Big 12 honors under Hill, including the 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year Nick Martini. Hill also tutored Martini to second team All-American honors.
The 2009 season proved to be the most storied of its time. Predicted to finish ninth in the Big 12 Baseball Preseason Poll, Hill guided K-State to a school-record 43-win season - including a program-best 14 conference victories to finish fourth in the Big 12 regular season standings, the school's best finish since placing second in the Big Eight in 1990. The Cats earned their first Top 10 ranking during the season and finished the 2009 campaign in the national polls for the first time in school history when Baseball America ranked K-State No. 19 in its final poll.
Hill, who garnered 2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors, directed K-State to its first ever NCAA Regional appearance when the Cats earned an at-large berth as the No. 2 seed in the Houston (Rice) Regional. The Cats didn't stop there as they tallied a pair of victories in the regional, including one against No. 1 seed and home team Rice, to advance to the regional final.
Along the way, the 2009 Wildcats set numerous school marks, including season wins (43), Big 12 victories (14), Big 12 finish (fourth), hits (675), stolen bases (149) and strikeouts (453).
Hill also tutored Consensus All-American and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year A.J. Morris, two freshman All-Americans in James Allen and Nick Martini, and a total of seven All-Big 12 performers. Four Wildcats also earned First Team Academic All-Big 12 honors last season, while Jason King and Thomas Rooke were named Academic All-District.
Following the conclusion of the 2009 season, five Wildcats were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, improving Hill's total to 18 since he took over the program in 2004.
In just his first year, Hill jumped out of the gate and led the Wildcats to a 19-6 record in his first 25 games, including wins over perennial national powers Ohio State and Alabama and 2003 College World Series participant Missouri State. K-State also garnered its first-ever national ranking at No. 30 during that span, which included an 11-game winning streak.
Then, in 2005, the Wildcats took the next step as they won 30 games in a season for just the 10th time ever, doubled their conference wins from the previous season, swept a season series from in-state rival Wichita State for the first time in 50 years and knocked off a No. 1-ranked team for the first time in school history, eventual national champion Texas.
In 2006, the Wildcats won a school-record 16 straight games and also ended the season on a five-game winning streak, wrapping up the season with a sweep of No. 22 Baylor at Tointon Stadium. Statistically, K-State finished the season in the top half of the league in both hitting (.314) and ERA (3.94). The 3.94 team ERA was the lowest since the 1975 season and the best since the addition of aluminum bats in college baseball.
The 2007 campaign saw K-State finish with a 34-24 overall record, one win shy of tying the single-season mark, while the Wildcats advanced to postseason play for the first time since 2002. The Cats won 30 games for the third-straight season and also collected 10 wins in league play, the most since winning 13 in 2002. He also guided current Wildcat closer Daniel Edwards to third-team all-American honors, just the ninth Wildcat to earn All-American honors of any kind and the first since Kasey Weisaar in 1999.
The 2008 Wildcats, fielding a roster of 16 juniors and seniors, entered the season looking to become the first team in school history to reach the NCAA Tournament. K-State dropped early season contests, but started to catch a groove the second half of the season as they won two-of-three against No. 22 Oklahoma State, topped No. 11 UC-Irvine in a dramatic 11-inning affair, defeated No. 25 Texas, won at No. 8 Wichita State, and edged one of the top teams in 2008, No. 3 Arizona State, in its final non-conference game of the season.
In conference play, the Wildcats finished the 2008 season with 11 wins to tie for sixth, the most wins and the best finish at that point since 2002. Down the stretch, K-State won four of its final six conference games, including a sweep of in-state rival Kansas. The end of the season is all K-State needed for a boost in the conference tournament. Under the tutelage of Hill, the Cats defeated No. 6 Oklahoma State and Baylor to advance to the school's first Big 12 Title Game. Although K-State was defeated by No. 24 Texas, everyone involved with the program can see just how far the Wildcat baseball program had come in such a short time.
Full Coach Hill Bio
Andy Sawyers, Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
A proven winner with an aggressive offensive approach, Andy Sawyers has coached at the collegiate level for 16 years. In July of 2014, he returned to familiar setting: K-State and the Big 12 Conference.
Sawyers was named the Wildcats’ Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator in 2014 after four years at Texas A&M. With K-State, Sawyers will oversee the hitters and catchers defensively as well as help coordinate recruiting.
Manhattan is a familiar setting for Sawyers. Prior to coaching at Texas A&M, Sawyers spent two years on Brad Hill’s coaching staff in 2009 and 2010, helping the program make its first two trips ever to an NCAA Regional. He quickly made his mark with the Wildcats, helping guide the team to a .317 batting average and a school-record 149 stolen bases in 2009. The next season in 2010, the Cats batted .323 and stole 120 bases, which are the fourth-most in school history. In both seasons, K-State led the Big 12 in both batting average and stolen bases.
The two NCAA Regional appearances during his first stint at K-State help make up 12 NCAA postseason trips Sawyers has directed his teams to since the 2000 season. He has also helped lead teams to four Super Regional berths and two trips to the College World Series, with the last being in 2011 with Texas A&M.
The 2011 season was Sawyers’ first with the Aggies in his second stint with the program. Prior to joining K-State in 2009, Sawyers was a volunteer assistant coach with the Aggies in 2008. The Aggies made an NCAA Regional in each of Sawyers’ five seasons at Texas A&M while they also won two Big 12 championships.
In 2011, Texas A&M ranked first in conference-only games with a .290 batting average, en route to winning the Big 12 title and reaching the program’s fifth College World Series. The Aggies also led the conference in hits and doubles, and seven hitters earned All-Big 12 honors, including a pair of honorees who also earned national accolades.
Tyler Naquin and Krey Bratsen were the offensive standouts under Sawyers in 2011. Naquin was named Big 12 Player of the Year – the sixth different player Sawyers has worked with that went on to earn the conference’s top honor for a hitter – after he led the Big 12 in batting average (.383), runs scored (68) and total bases (147) while also finishing as the national leader in hits (104). Bratsen, meanwhile, was named a Freshman All-American after he hit .332 and stole 31 bases, the ninth-most in the nation.
In 2012, Naquin once again earned All-American honors under Sawyers’ watch as he hit .380 with 27 extra-base hits, 49 RBI and 21 stolen bases. Naquin went on to be drafted in the first round (15th overall) by the Cleveland Indians, one of 35 draft selections Sawyers has helped tutor in 14 years at the Division I level.
During the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Sawyers helped Texas A&M transition to the SEC, finishing with a winning overall record and trips to an NCAA Regional in both campaigns.
Sawyers’ first stint at K-State was successful from many perspectives. From the program-record stolen bases in his first season to .323 team batting average in his second campaign, he made his mark on a program for years to come.
The 2009 campaign was a year of power for the Wildcats under Sawyers. The team hit 22 triples and 58 home runs, the most in both categories since the 1997 season. The Cats offense shined brightest when it came to stolen bases as the 149 steals were the second-most in the nation and two shy of breaking the Big 12 record for steals in a single season. Overall, the team finished among the Big 12 leaders in OBP (second, .399), runs scored (second, 458), hits (second, 675), RBI (second, 420), doubles (third, 123), and fewest strikeouts (fourth, 393).
Six Wildcats earned All-Big 12 honors in 2009, including outfielder Nick Martini, who also garnered Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors, and Justin Bloxom (.361) and Carter Jurica (.353), who finished fourth and eighth, respectively, in the Big 12 in batting average.
The 2010 squad matched the success of 2009 season by also reaching the NCAA postseason, but the offense topped the previous season’s totals in batting average (.323 in 2010; .317 in 2009), runs per game (7.6 vs. 7.4) and OBP (.426 vs. .399).
The offense was paced by Martini, who went on to be named Big 12 Player of the Year in 2010 and highlight a list of three hitters who earned all-conference honors. Although Martini was eventually selected during the 2011 Draft as a junior, two other Wildcat hitters, Jurica and Adam Muenster, were selected in the 2010 MLB Draft. Jurica’s selection in the third round by the San Francisco Giants was the highest a Wildcat had been picked since 1969.
Full Coach Sawyers Bio
Josh Reynolds, Pitching Coach
An experienced pitching coach and tireless recruiter, Josh Reynolds was an integral part to Kansas State's first ever Big 12 Championship and NCAA Regional host site selection in 2013 as he guided the Wildcat pitching staff to numerous school records.
Working with a 13-man group that consisted of eight underclassmen, Reynolds quickly developed young talent and made moves that resulted in a 3.92 team ERA, a mark that was the lowest in school history in the aluminum bat era (1977). In addition, the Wildcats also broke the school records for fewest hits allowed per nine innings (9.0), lowest batting average (.262), saves (19) and innings pitched (569.0). The staff's saves and innings pitched totals led the Big 12.
Under Reynolds guidance, relief pitcher Jake Matthys was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and also picked up Freshman All-America and All-Big 12 First Team accolades. The right-hander tied the school record with 33 appearances, finished second in school history in wins (9), fifth in saves (9) and eighth in ERA (2.05). His totals for wins and saves shattered the freshman school records and tied Matthys for second in the Big 12 during the 2013 season.
Reynolds guided another freshman, Levi MaVorhis, to a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman team as the right-hander shined in pressure situations out of the bullpen early in the year before running away with a spot in the starting rotation during the second half of the season. He also found a hidden talent on the K-State roster as he inserted outfielder Tanner Witt into a late-game role on the mound in which he compiled seven saves to rank seventh in the Big 12. Witt earned All-Big 12 First Team honors as a utility player and was on the watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award.
Reynolds hit the ground running in his first year as the pitching in 2011 as K-State ended the year with a 4.26 team ERA, which was the third-lowest in school history since the introduction of the aluminum bat in 1977. Additionally, the Wildcats tallied 449 strikeouts - just four shy of the school record - and surrendered the second fewest hits per nine innings (9.3) and second lowest opponent batting average (.269) since 1977.
Under Reynolds' tutelage, relief pitchers James Allen (first team) and Evan Marshall (second team) earned All-Big 12 honors. Allen was also named a First Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and earned second team honors from Collegiate Baseball. Both Marshall and Allen were taken in the top 10 rounds of the 2011 MLB Draft as Marshall was drafted in the fourth round by Arizona and Allen was taken in the seventh round by Cincinnati. Additionally, starting pitcher Kyle Hunter was selected in the 31st round by Seattle.
Due in part to Reynolds' guidance, Allen, Marshall and Hunter are listed prominently in the K-State record book. Allen broke the K-State single-season (17) and career (31) marks in saves, while he is sixth in school history in career ERA (2.92) among pitchers with a minimum of two years and 100 innings pitched. The closer also ranks second in career relief appearances with 81 and third in single-season relief appearances with 29.
Marshall finished second in school history with 30 relief appearances in 2011, and remained consistent under the direction of Reynolds as he finished third in K-State history with an ERA of 1.62 in 2011. Hunter, who finished ninth in school history with 167 career strikeouts, was eighth in career wins with 15, including five in 2011.
Following a success first season as the team's pitching coach in 2011, Reynolds followed that up by seeing his 2012 pitching staff rank in the top 10 of four school categories. K-State totaled 423 strikeouts to rank fourth, while the Wildcats were 10th in ERA (5.47), fewest walks per nine innings (3.7) and fewest hits per nine innings (10.1).
Reynolds guided Kayvon Bahramzadeh, who was the team's top starting pitcher, to draft status as he was taken in the 24th round by the Oakland Athletics. Prior to being drafted, Bahramzadeh placed in the top 10 in school history in three career categories as he was fourth games started (36), sixth in strikeouts (185) and 10th in appearances (60).
Aside from tutoring the team's top starter to draft status, Reynolds was also outstanding in building for the future as freshman Nate Williams tallied six saves to rank ninth in school history and set the freshman record, besting an eventual All-American in Allen.
Reynolds spent the 2007 as the pitching coach at Northeast Texas Community College. Following the 2008 season as the graduate manager in Manhattan, Reynolds was hired as the pitching coach at Evansville.
A volunteer assistant coach at K-State during the 2005 and 2006 seasons and a graduate manager in 2008, Reynolds returned to Manhattan following a successful two-year stint at Evansville. Reynolds made a significant impact on the UE program, producing four All-Missouri Valley Conference pitchers during his stint, the second-highest total among league schools over the two-year period. Relief pitchers Tom Heithoff (2009, 2010), Corey Davisson (2010) and J.R. Carbonell (2009) earned All-MVC pitching honors for UE, while Davisson tied Evansville's single-season records for both appearances (33) and winning percentage (9-1, .900) in 2010 under Reynolds' tutelage. Heithoff also emerged as one of the top closers in school history under Reynolds as he totaled 18 saves in his two years to rank second all-time in Evansville history.
The Purple Aces staff also dropped its team ERA by over a full point during Reynolds' two years, while UE improved nearly 150 spots in the national rankings in hits allowed under his watch.
Full Coach Reynolds Bio
Blake Kangas, Assistant Coach
A veteran coach at both the Division I and community-college ranks, Blake Kangas joined the Kansas State staff in August 2012 as an assistant coach and helped hitting coach Mike Clement direct one of the most dangerous offenses in college baseball during the 2013 season.
Kangas, who also works with the team's outfielders, helped lead the Wildcats to a No. 2 national ranking in batting average at .322, while the Wildcats also ranked in the top 10 nationally in six other categories. Kangas, who helped the Wildcats host their first-ever NCAA Regional, coached Ross Kivett to Big 12 Player of the Year accolades, while seven hitters earned All-Big 12 honors, including six that were named to the first team.
Kangas came to Manhattan after serving as the hitting coach at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., for the previous four seasons, directing the Golden Eagle offense to top offensive rankings in the state of California each year. A former player at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kangas helped Feather River achieve a 136-27 record and coached eight First Team All-America selections, while he coached or recruited 10 conference pitcher, player or defensive players of the year.
Kangas guided Feather River to the top batting average in the state of California each of his final three seasons, including a .335 mark in 2012, while his offense led the state in both hits and runs scored each season. Additionally, he tutored six players that were drafted during his four-year tenure, including four in 2011.
Prior to his stint at Feather River, Kangas was on the staff at his alma mater, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, for three seasons. During the 2008 season, he helped the Panthers finish fourth in the country in doubles, while two players placed in the top 10 nationally in that department. Milwaukee also finished 16th nationally in hits and led the Horizon Conference in runs, hits, doubles, RBI and walks.
Full Coach Kangas Bio
Tyler Looney, Strength and Conditioning Coach
Tyler Looney returned to his alma mater in the summer of 2013 to work with the K-State Baseball program. A 2008 graduate of Kansas State with a degree in kinesiology, Looney is no stranger to the program as he worked as a student assistant coach from 2005-08. During his first stint at K-State, Looney also worked with the football and tennis teams.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Looney was a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri, working with the football, swimming and gymnastics programs from 2008-2010. After obtaining his master's degree in education, he accepted a full-time job with Missouri for the 2010-11 school year as the baseball strength coach while assisting with football. Following a seven-month appointment at Washington State as the strength coach for Cougar Football and Volleyball, Looney returned to Missouri as an Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning working with the Tiger Football program.
Looney is a native of Salina, Kan., and attended Smoky Valley High School in Lindsborg.