Wichita State introduces Eric Wedge as new baseball head coach

Wichita State reached back to the past to try and create a better future for their baseball program with the hiring of former Shocker catcher Eric Wedge.

"My excitement to come back here, it's to the point where I'm feeling things that I haven't felt in a long time. I think that when you understand what that means for me that means I have a great appreciation for this job."

The last time Wedge suited up for Wichita State was almost 30 years ago when he was a part of a national championship team. His coach at the time saw the traits necessary for him to one day take the reins.

"We had very good teams especially '88, '89. He was I would say recognized as the leader of the team," said former Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson. 

Launching WSU back onto the national stage won't be an overnight process especially for a program who hasn't made the NCAA tournament in 7 seasons.

"I don't put timetables on anything because nobody is that smart," said Wedge. "I don't know how long it's going to take. I don't know if it's going to happen quick or if it's going to take time. If I had to guess my guess is it's going to take some time."

One of the biggest challenges facing this former MLB manager is adjusting to the world of college recruiting.

"Obviously I have a lot to learn," Wedge acknowledged. "I was pretty smart in professional baseball. I got a lot less smarter really quick when I got this job here at Wichita State but I will adjust and adapt to it."

Wedge returning to Wichita has given baseball fans and alums a renewed sense of optimism.

"The skyboxes and the seats have been selling and I've been sending out texts to guys saying hey you guys are going to get to play in front of 3-4,00 again," said former Wichita State pitcher Mike Pelfrey. 

Expectations for the program remain high especially now with one of their own in charge. wedge wants supporters to keep their excitement alive even if things don't always go their way.

"Remember how you feel and hang on to that," Wedge stated. "Draw from that on those tough days. Believe in everything because you know it's happened here before and you know it's going to happen here again."