Washington State hires Marty Lees to take over baseball program
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Marty Lees has been named the Washington State head baseball coach, Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Wednesday.
Lees becomes the 15th head coach in program history after spending the past three seasons as the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State and the previous 11 at Oregon State. In those 14 years he has coached 10 teams that have reached the NCAA Tournament, including two national champions with Oregon State.
“Marty brings a proven championship mentality to Cougar baseball,” said Moos. “He played a significant role in building successful programs at both Oregon State and Oklahoma State with whom we share many similarities. I am tremendously impressed with his reputation as a tireless worker especially in recruiting.
"His solid reputation along with his down home upbringing and family values make him the perfect fit.”
This past season the Cowboys posted a 38-20 record, falling in the NCAA Stillwater Regional, the first time in his three seasons Oklahoma State did not advance to the Regional Championship game.
Along with helping lead the Cowboys to the NCAA Louisville Regional final in 2013 and a Big 12 Conference championship and NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2014, Lees thrived as Oklahoma State’s recruiting coordinator.
The Cowboys' first class with Lees on board was ranked No. 4 nationally by Baseball America and No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball, and followed that with a 2014 class that was ranked No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball for the second-consecutive year.
“I'm honored and privileged to be the next head baseball coach at Washington State University,” said Lees, who was part of 128 victories in his three seasons with Oklahoma State. “This is a dream come true. Washington State is a great institution with a strong community and a place I feel I can work with quality people and raise my family.
“It is important to me to be at a place that can win championships,” Lees continued. “I believe that we can do that here at Washington State. My family and I are very excited and grateful for this opportunity and I want to thank Bill Moos, President Floyd and the rest of the Cougar family for believing in me to the lead the Washington State baseball program.”
In January 2013, Lees came in at No. 6 on Baseball America’s list of the nation’s top 10 college assistant coaches; a list compiled from votes of 70 Division I head coaches across the country, as well as the input of more than a dozen scouts.
As the primary coach for OSU's infielders, Lees coached 13 Cowboy infielders who have earned All-Big 12 honors over the last three seasons, and in 2015, Oklahoma State recorded a .975 fielding percentage.
Lees arrived at Oklahoma State after spending the previous 11 years on the coaching staff at Oregon State, including the final three (2010-12) as the Beavers' associate head coach. Lees joined the Oregon State staff as a volunteer assistant in 2002 and moved to a full-time assistant coach in 2004.
He helped coach the Beavers to three consecutive College World Series berths from 2005-07, including back-to-back national championships in 2006-07.
He worked primarily as the defensive coach for infielders and catchers and also spent his last six years as the team's recruiting coordinator. While in Corvallis, he coached 30 All-Pac-10/12 Conference performers and 10 All-Americans.
Under his guidance, Darwin Barney was the 2005 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, while Chris Kunda was named the conference's defensive player of the year in 2006.
With Lees on staff, Oregon State consistently ranked among the NCAA's best in fielding percentage, including twice setting a school record with a .977 mark. In 2007, the Beavers posted a .977 fielding percentage to rank second in the NCAA, which marked the first of three-straight years that Oregon State ranked in the top 20 nationally.
Lees also established himself as a top recruiter as each of his classes as recruiting coordinator ranked in the top 25 nationally. In 2008, the Beavers' signed a class ranked No. 3, and Oregon State's 2011 recruiting class ranked in the top 10 and included Michael Conforto, who earned All-America honors as a freshman in 2012.
A native of Lakeview, Ore., Lees earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Western Oregon in 1994. He and his wife, Kristy, have three sons, Brandon, Brady and Jacob.