Moos dismisses baseball coach Donnie Marbut

JUST AS Washington State's baseball team, loaded with freshmen, began turning the corner this season, WSU athletic director Bill Moos dismissed Donnie Marbut today, just two days after Marbut completed his 11th season as head coach of the Cougs and one day after a published report in which Marbut expressed frustration with the lack of support for his efforts to improve WSU's baseball facilities.

Marbut confirmed his dismissal with Cougfan.com this morning but said he wasn't in a position yet to talk in greater detail.

The timing of his removal is either conspicuous or coincidence, in that it comes one day after the Spokesman-Review published a story detailing how far WSU has fallen behind in its baseball facilities compared to its Northwest brethren. In that story, Marbut talked about how he has been fundraising to build a new clubhouse for the last several years but has received little support in that effort from the athletic department.

Moos issued a press release after CF.C broke the news about the firing, saying, "Though Donnie and his staff have worked hard over the past 11 years it is my feeling that a change in leadership at this time was necessary to get Cougar baseball back to a position of prominence."

Sunday's season-ending victory over Stanford gave Marbut's Cougars a 29-27 record, the most wins by a Cougar squad since the 37-win 2010 season. The WSU roster has 24 members in their freshman or sophomore year of eligibility, and 13 of those players made starts this season.

Marbut, who took over the program on May 31, 2004, compiled a 314-304 record at Washington State, and took the Cougars to the NCAA postseason in 2009 and 2010. He is the third-winningest coach in WSU baseball history behind Bobo Brayton and Buck Bailey.

Marbut is believed to have had a base salary of approximately $180,000 per year.

When Moos extended Marbut's contract following the 2010 season he said the way Marbut had built the baseball program was a prototype for every coach in every sport at WSU.

“Though Donnie and his staff have worked hard over the past 11 years it is my feeling that a change in leadership at this time was necessary to get Cougar baseball back to a position of prominence,” said Moos in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

"We will begin the process of naming the next head coach immediately," said Moos. "I will not be discussing details of the hiring process and expect to name the new coach as soon as possible.”
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