Loren Hibbs says he was ‘100% all in’ to continue as Wichita State baseball coach

The day after Wichita State announced its decision to launch a national search to find a new head baseball coach, Loren Hibbs, who coached this past season as the interim, made his feelings about the decision known publicly.

In a prepared statement released on his Twitter account, Hibbs said “I have been 100% all in to continue as the head baseball coach at WSU beyond this season. Unfortunately, despite my desire to continue as head coach, Shocker baseball will have a new leader.

“I wish Wichita State baseball success going forward.”

Hibbs was voted the American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for this past season after taking over the program two months before the start of the season and guiding the Shockers to a 30-25 record and third-place finish in league play.

A former star player and assistant coach with the Shockers, Hibbs returned to Wichita in 2019 to serve as the director of baseball operations on former head coach Eric Wedge’s staff after stepping down as the head coach at Charlotte after 27 seasons.

WSU athletic director Kevin Saal announced the start of a national search to find the next head baseball coach on Tuesday morning.

“While we’re certain he did not return to Wichita with the intent to serve as head coach, we are grateful for his willingness to step forward on short notice, providing invaluable experience and leadership during a time of transition,” Saal said in a statement.

Hibbs pushed back on that notion in his statement on Wednesday.

“Our family left a great situation in Charlotte and came to Wichita to help turn this program around in whatever capacity was needed,” Hibbs said in his statement. “Any assumptions about my ‘intent’ are just that -- assumptions.”

Since the NCAA transfer portal opened on Monday, 25 players of 35 eligible to return to WSU have entered the portal. Entering the portal does not exclude the players from returning to WSU, although a handful cited the coaching change on their social media posts as the reason they were entering the portal to begin with.

Notable players who have entered the transfer portal include Brock Rodden, Garrett Pennington, Chuck Ingram, Clark Candiotti, Grant Adler, Jace Miner, Nate Snead, Mauricio Millan, Kyte McDonald, David Herring, Jack Little, Caden Favors, Robot Cranz, Seth Stroh, Jordan Rogers and Jaden Gustafson.

Of the 10 players who remain on WSU’s roster, only one saw meaningful playing time last season — two-way superstar Payton Tolle.

Despite the decision from WSU to move on, Hibbs said he will always “bleed black and yellow.”

“I am a product of this community and have two degrees from Wichita State University,” Hibbs said in his statement. “Nothing means more to me than Shocker baseball... our history, our players, our alumni, our boosters and most importantly, the direction of our program. I will be a proud Shocker long after others have passed through!”

Statement from former WSU interim baseball coach Loren Hibbs.
Statement from former WSU interim baseball coach Loren Hibbs.
Statement from WSU athletic director Kevin Saal.
Statement from WSU athletic director Kevin Saal.