Donnie Marbut Named Washington State Head Baseball Coach

May 31, 2004

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Don Marbut (Donnie), a highly successful community college coach and a Washington State University assistant for the past year, has been named the WSU Cougars' new head baseball coach following the resignation of Tim Mooney. The announcement was made Monday by WSU Athletics Director Jim Sterk.

Mooney submitted his resignation to Sterk last week and Sunday, after the final game of the season, told team members he would not return for a fifth year as the Cougar head coach.

'Tim expressed to me he felt it was in the best interests of the program and his family to make the change,' Sterk said. 'He heartily endorsed Marbut and as a staff we felt hiring Donnie as the new head coach was a plus-plus for WSU. He is very highly regarded among high school and community colleges in the Northwest, knows our players, the program's tradition and will continue to bring leadership and a tremendous amount of energy to the program, just as he has done as an assistant coach.'

Marbut (MAR-butt) is a 1992 graduate of Aberdeen High and attended Edmonds Community College for two years and then played two seasons at Portland State, graduating in 1997 with a degree in social sciences.

Marbut becomes the 14th WSU baseball head coach in the 109 years of the program that began in 1892 and was the first official sport at the school.

The new Cougar head coach began his coaching career at Capital High in Olympia in 1998. The Cougars won the State 3-A State baseball title that spring. He then spent one year at Bellevue Community College as an assistant coach, helping guide the team to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Northern Division title in 1999.

A year later Marbut took over at his community college alma mater and in four seasons won 152 games, lost 38, and captured the NWAACC Championship in 2002 and 2003. His last Edmonds CC team won a NWAACC record 43 games, finishing 43-7.

The Washington native then joined Mooney's staff in the summer of 2003 and took over as recruiting coordinator, in addition to tutoring the WSU infielders. Last fall WSU signed 12 recruits, all but one from the Washington high school ranks. He is expected to announce several more signings this spring.

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TIM MOONEY UPDATE: Mooney was appointed head coach at WSU in August, 2000...during four seasons he compiled a 84-135 record and this year guided WSU to a 29-26 record, the first winning season since 1998 and just the second since 1994...his current career record is 556-263-3...WSU finished 15-39 in 2001, 21-33 in 2002, 19-37 in 2003 and 29-26 this year...Mooney came to WSU after 14 years as the head coach at Albertson College.

Washington State University Athletics Director Jim Sterk, new head baseball coach Donnie Marbut, players Grant Richardson and Collin Henderson, and resigning head coach Tim Mooney participated in a press conference Monday, at which time Jim Sterk announced Mooney's resignation and the promotion of Donnie Marbut to the head coaching position.

The following are press conference quotes from WSU Athletics Director JIM STERK . . .

'Tim expressed to us that he felt it was best for Cougar baseball to step aside at this time. I am really pleased with the progress Tim has made over the last four years. The team has made great strides this year and under coach Marbut I expect that to continue to improve.

'It needs to be said that the team under coach Mooney this year was legitimately close to making the NCAA Tournament. We were two or three more wins away from what probably would have put us in the postseason. We were 11-13 against tournament teams. Tim also really helped develop, plan and solicit support for our newly renovated baseball field that is going to help build this program. Coach Mooney is also a great person and we wish him the best.

'The biggest reason is he (Mooney) felt if he stepped aside, it would help the program move forward. He felt that some things he wanted to get done couldn't get done. He was very supportive of coach Brust and coach Marbut remaining and helping move the program forward.

'Coach Marbut has the support of our players, coaches and administration. He is an enthusiastic teacher and student of the game. He came in last year at a difficult time and helped moved this team and program toward potential NCAA postseason play.

'When he (Marbut) came to WSU last year, it really helped the program at a difficult time. Coach Marbut came in with enthusiasm, had great connections in the state of Washington and was well respected. The players like to play for him. The feedback we have received has been very positive. Coach Marbut and I have talked about the number of quality players that come out of this state. That is where we need to start. We need to get as many of those Pac-10 quality players as we can. We want them to come to Washington State.

The following are press conference quotes from DONNIE MARBUT . . .

'I want thank the administration, the players and coach Mooney for giving me an opportunity to be the new head coach at Washington State University. Washington State has such a great tradition in baseball and I am proud to be a part of it. Being a Washington kid growing up, we used to watch in the Bobo Brayton days. It is an outstanding a program. I felt appreciative to be a part of it this year, getting an opportunity last summer to be hired by coach Mooney. I am thankful for the year I have had with the staff, coach (Ryan) Brust, coach Mooney and coach (Brett) Fattore. It was a year that these kids turned the program into a potential regional type team. Like Mr. Sterk said we were a couple of games away from making a regional and getting back into postseason play where Washington State baseball belongs.

'We are definitely on the right track. With the players we have on our existing club and the kids we have coming in, I am excited for the future of Cougar baseball. Obviously, the great things the administration and the donors have done for our facilities, we are right there in the Pac-10. I feel very fortunate to be a coach in this conference and more fortunate to be a coach at this University.

'I was fortunate enough at an early age to be a head coach at a junior college at Edmonds. I had good luck, I believe, to be an athletic director so I understood where I wanted to coach and what level I wanted to coach at. This was a great opportunity to come and work with a great staff at a great institution. By coach Mooney deciding he wants to do something different, it put me in a position to be a head coach.

'I wanted to be a head coach one day and it just happens to be that it is today. There couldn't be a better place to coach baseball than at Washington State. I have always wanted to coach baseball in one of the best conferences in the country and obviously the Pac-10 gives you that in a college town. I am from a small town growing up and I feel a lot more comfortable in Pullman than I did in Kirkland and I like being here.

'The adversity we dealt with last year helped the club a little bit. We have some individuals that were really hungry and wanted to turn this program around. Obviously, we play in the best conference in the country. The best way to turn this program around is to get the top quality players from the state of Washington and the surrounding areas.

'This conference is not for the weak and you better get the right types of people to make you successful. You have to surround yourself with a great staff and great players. We already have a great administration, great fans and great supporters. We just have to do a better job of getting the right types of players and putting a good product on the field.

'I see the program continuing to rise and get to the top of the Pac-10. I was told the goals for all the athletic teams at Washington State were to compete in the top half of the Pac-10 and try to get to postseason. There is no reason we cannot do that. It is not an easy job. It is not an easy thing to do, but I am a firm believer in our players and that is what they want to do. That is what will happen in the very near future.

'I spent a year under Tim and I learned a lot. You are different people no matter if you coach with someone for 20 years. I went and watched my former junior college play and I coached with that individual for four years and he runs it different than I would have run it. In the end result, Tim and I are the exact same because we want what is best for Cougar baseball and you want to win games.

'There are some individuals (potential assistants) out there. I would like to stay with someone in the Northwest. I think that is important. There are others schools in the Northwest, Gonzaga, Washington and Oregon State, that have done a great job getting Northwest players. I think it is important to have a Northwest connection, so there are some individuals we are thinking about.

The following are press conference quotes from junior first baseman Grant Richardson . . .

'It was a good year. I think we are headed in the right direction. I would love to be a part of a team that makes it to a regional. We will see what happens next week (with the Major League Baseball Draft). My plans right now are to come back in the fall and work harder than anybody to get that goal and keep Cougar baseball on the rise.'

The following are press conference quotes from TIM MOONEY . . .

'I came to Washington State with a goal of making Cougar baseball better. I didn't meet all those goals we had, but I think this year we made great strides. The improvements to Bailey-Brayton Field, the progress of the team and staff, I take great pride in that. I liken that to being trailblazers.

'My goal still to this day is the success of Cougar baseball. Hopefully in doing this the way we have we have set it up for success. We have a staff in place I believe will be successful. We have returning players I believe will be successful. We have a recruiting class coming in that will enable us to be successful.

'By no means am I abandoning the program or my goals of continued success of Cougar baseball. I want to make it clear and I felt no greater responsibility than to the Cougars who have come before us and the ones who will come behind us - that they will have success. I love the school and felt determined to respect and a sense of responsibility to do things the Cougar way. I think we are in a position now to continue to do that.

'I came here (from 14 coaching years at Albertson College) because I respected what had been done and I thought it was a neat environment for my family, a neat environment to work in. It isn't easy to say I didn't get it done. I didn't get it done as well as I would like to. I feel like I have let Cougar baseball people down. I hope the success that happens because of the work we've done, our fingerprints, the fingerprints of the seniors who worked so hard to get it turned this year and the fingerprints of ours might be on any future success.

'I certainly think things are in place (for future success), the staff, the returning players, the recruiting, the improvements to the field, all those things are in place for success. I take great pride and I think I have left it in a position for success.

'I had three concerns, concern my assistants were taken care, make sure my players were taken care of and make sure the program was taken care of. In my meeting with Mr. Sterk, those were the three things I wanted to make sure were taken care of. Right now my number one concern is making sure my family is taken care of. I really don't know what I am going to do.

'I want Cougar baseball to be successful. That's the whole premise of my decision to do this. If anything I'm disappointed I didn't do a better job for Washington State.

'It could be my leadership ability to get everyone 100 percent pushing the same direction, everybody on the same page. If you don't have that, I don't think you are going to have the best success you can have. I didn't want to be swimming up stream and I'm the weight. I'm not going to be that guy.

'I said (to Jim Sterk) this is the best chance for success (promoting Marbut). The staff is in place, they were very instrumental in recruiting an outstanding recruiting class. If you blow this whole staff up, I wouldn't have gone. I would have stayed. If I was going to leave, I was going to leave it in good shape. The only way I was going to leave was to hold this together, hold these players together, hold the recruits tied to it and to keep that staff intact, which makes it set up to have success.'

DON (Donnie) E. MARBUT -- Washington State University Head Baseball Coach

BORN: Feb. 18, 1974, Aberdeen, Wash.

HOMETOWN: Aberdeen, Wash.

HIGH SCHOOL: Aberdeen High School, 1992 - Earned All-Black Hills League honors three times...also earned all-league honors three times in football and once in basketball...set six school records in three sports.

COLLEGE: Edmonds Community College, 1995 - Graduated with an associate of arts degree...played baseball from 1992-1995...named to the all NWAACC team twice as an infielder, 1994 and 1995...named team MVP in 1995.

Portland State University, 1997 - Earned undergraduate degree in social sciences...Viking MVP and All-Pac-10 North infielder in 1997 was a team captain, voted most inspirational by his teammates and was the president of Portland State's athletic advisory board.

St. Martin's College, 1998 - Earned his teaching certification.

COACHING EXPERIENCE: Capital High, 1998 - Head assistant coach for 3A state champs

Bellevue Community College, 1999 - Head assistant of northern division champs.

Edmonds Community College, 2000-03 - Returned to alma mater as the head coach, earning north division coach of the year accolades in 2000, 2001 and 2003...NWAACC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2003...guided 2003 squad to a league record, 43 wins...152-38 career record at Edmonds CC.

Washington State University, 2003-04 - Joined WSU staff as an assistant coach for the 2004 season...Cougars finished 27-25, the team's first winning season since 1998 and only the second since 1994.

Washington State University, 2004-Present - Named WSU's Head Coach.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member of American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA).

WSU APPOINTMENT: Assistant coach August, 2003...head coach May 31, 2004.

WSU RESPONSIBILITIES: Head with infielders.

SPOUSE: Jennifer Marbut

CHILDREN: Avery Shay (1/12/03)

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