Kansas State head baseball coach Brad Hill, the program’s all-time winningest coach and two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year, will step down at the end of the 2018 season, K-State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor announced Tuesday. This is according to a media release from K-State Athletics.
“With the best interest of the program in mind, I have decided to step aside after 15 seasons,” Hill said. “It’s come time for the program to move in a new direction and regain the energy it once had, and with the new facility on the horizon, now is the perfect time. My family and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a special place and we now look forward to the next chapter in our lives.”
“Coach Hill has provided an unwavering commitment to our baseball program for 15 years and advanced it to an unprecedented level with our first-ever conference championship and multiple NCAA Regional appearances,” Taylor said. “He has given so much to K-State, building our program to a championship level in a first-class manner with the utmost integrity. I admire and appreciate all he and his family have done for K-State and wish them nothing but the best. We look forward to honoring him the remainder of the season and finishing strong starting this weekend against the Jayhawks.”
In 2017, Hill became the Wildcats’ all-time wins leader with his 436th victory on April 22 against West Virginia at Tointon Family Stadium, passing longtime head coach Mike Clark. He currently has 463 victories at K-State.
“I can’t thank enough the great people of K-State and Manhattan who gave us a chance to be successful here, notably Tim Weiser (former Athletics Director) and Casey Scott (Executive Associate Athletics Director) who hired me and placed their trust in me to lead this program,” added Hill. “My deepest gratitude goes out to all the tremendous coaches and support staff who worked tirelessly, in particular Sean McCann, Tom Myers and Scott Bird who started with me in 2004 and helped establish our program.
“And I especially want to thank all the players who contributed to the rise of this program with their commitment and hard work, guys that built the foundation in my first seasons here, to those that took it to new heights that included a Big 12 title and a Super Regional and to the present players. So many guys have their fingerprints on this program, there are too many to name. K-State is a special place, and I look forward to seeing the program get back to where it needs to be under new leadership.”
In 15 seasons 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 reached an all-time high in 2013, as the Cats won the Big 12 title and reached their first-ever Super Regional.
Hill inherited a program in 2004 that had just one winning season from 1998 to 2003. Seven of his first eight seasons in charge saw the Cats at or above .500, including a trip to the Big 12 Championship in his fourth season (2007).
Predicted to finish ninth in the conference in 2009, Hill guided K-State to a then-school record 43-win season and its first-ever NCAA Regional appearance. Hill, who also garnered ABCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 2009, helped the Cats earn their first top-10 ranking and finished the season in the national polls for the first time in school history.
Hill went on to lead the Wildcats to four regional berths in five seasons, capped by reaching the Corvallis Super Regional in 2013 and were a game away from reaching the College World Series. 2013 saw the Cats win a program-record 45 games.
With an ability to develop talent, Hill has groomed 58 players that were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including 46 Wildcats with at last one selected in every season while at K-State.
Under Hill’s watch, he has seen 18 All-Americans, 55 All-Big 12 selections, 84 Academic All-Big 12 honorees, eight freshman All-Americans, three academic All-Americans and three Big 12 players of pitchers of the year.
Prior to his time in Manhattan, Hill guided Central Missouri State to a national championship in 2003 and boasted a career winning percentage of .821 (418-91) over his nine seasons coaching the Mules.
A native of Galva, Kansas, Hill has more than 30 years of service as a head coach or assistant at the collegiate level, including stints at Hutchinson Community College and Kansas prior to his time at CMSU and K-State.
He owns an overall head coaching record 964-530-3 including at the NCAA Division I, II and junior college levels.
Friday will begin Hill’s final home series, as the Kansas Jayhawks visit Tointon Family Stadium for a three-game series. Friday’s and Saturday’s games will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the Sunday finale set for 12 p.m.
A national search for K-State’s 21st head baseball coach will begin immediately.