Who will be new WSU baseball coach?

THE EASIEST place to begin a coaching search when you're an arm-chair athletic director is to look at who from within the family might be a fit. Bill Moos said his search for a new Cougar baseball coach will be held close to the vest, but we've done a cursory scan of the crimson landscape and come up with some familiar names that might be worth tossing around as successors to Donnie Marbut.

AARON SELE (pictured above)
The Poulsbo native was an All-American at WSU under Bobo Brayton before launching a long and distinguished Major League career and now serves as a special assistant with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has mentioned casually at Cougar events over the years his interest in coaching and how much he loves Pullman. Combine those two nuggets with the example set forth by his old teammate with the Angels, Nebraska grad Darrin Erstad, who is now doing great things as head coach at his alma mater, and you have a pretty intriguing candidate.

Cougfan.com message boarders wasted little time putting Jewett on their wish list -- and for good reason. During his five seasons in Pullman with Marbut he helped effect a turnaround that saw the Cougs go from the Pac-12 cellar to earning NCAA postseason regional berths in 2009 and 2010. Jewett, a 1993 graduate of WSU, was the Cougs’ associate head coach and recruiting coordinator under Marbut before leaving for Arizona State and then Vanderbilt, where he’s spent the past three seasons. At all three stops, plus another at Washington, Jewett has helped produce winners.

He's a 1980 graduate of WSU who retired in 2012 after 18 seasons at JC power Lower Columbia College. He compiled a 634-173 record at LCC, including 18 post-season tournament appearances. Smith's teams played in 12 title games and won five. Before that he was an assistant coach at Portland State and a scout for the Oakland A's. After graduating from WSU, he was drafted in the 13th round by San Francisco and spent four seasons in AAA ball before going into coaching.

A star shortstop for Bobo Brayton from 1979-81, Noce currently works for the MLB Scouting Bureau but spent 20 seasons, from 1994-2013, as the head baseball coach at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Prior to that, he served as a roving instructor in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league system. He played professional baseball for the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.

The former Cougar pitcher has been a scout with the Mariners since 2014 and affiliated with the Mariners in various instructional and coaching capacities since 2006, He also served as the head assistant coach at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., from 2011-14. Intriguingly, he has his pulse on the local baseball talent, having started a baseball academy in 2005 that focuses on instructing players at camps and clinics across the Northwest.

WSU's current pitching coach has been in Cougarville the past 10 seasons. Has done an excellent job with his pitching staffs. In fact, the Cougs' ERA this past season (3.43) was one of its lowest in decades. During his time at WSU he’s mentored 11 pitchers who have gone on to play in the pros (soon to be 12 with Joe Pistorese expected to go in the first 10 rounds in June’s draft). Swenson is also experienced: in a 23-year career, he has been involved in virtually every aspect of a college baseball program.

The pitching coach at Seattle U the past five seasons, the former Major League pitcher starred at WSU from 1986-88 and was a first-round draft choice of the Montreal Expos. At Seattle U, the team's ERA has fallen each of the past three seasons under his tutelage, from 4.84 to 3.63. Wainhouse played in the Majors with the Expos, Mariners, Pirates, Rockies, Cardinals organizations, working under such legendary managers as Jim Leyland, Felipe Alou, Tony LaRussa and Lou Pinella.

LOOKING OUTSIDE THE WSU FAMILY at potential candidates, former Yankees and A's standout Scott Brosius, seems a reasonable possibility. The former All-Star and World Series MVP just stepped down at Linfield College in Oregon, where he compiled a 270-96 career mark since taking over as head man in 2007. The five-time Northwest Conference coach of the year led Linfield to six trips to the postseason and the 2014 NCAA Division III national championship. On Saturday, he announced he was stepping down, with mixed emotions, to search out a new baseball challenge.

In looking around the Pac-12, UCLA assistant coach Rex Peters is a respected veteran who previously spent nine years as the head coach at UC Davis. He holds myriad responsibilities with the Bruins as hitting coach, outfield coach and a point man in recruiting. He’s been at UCLA for four years, during which the Bruins won the College World Series in 2013. Meanwhile, looking at a younger possibility, Arizona State assistant Ben Greenspan has a reputation as a crackerjack recruiter. Before coming to the Sun Devils as the recruiting coordinator this past year, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana.

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