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Eric Wedge Returns to Lead Wichita State Baseball Program
WICHITA, Kan. – Eric Wedge has been named the Head Baseball Coach at Wichita State, Director of Athletics Darron Boatright announced Wednesday, May 29.
Wedge, who was a catcher for the Shockers from 1987-89 and earned first team All-America honors in 1989, is the 22nd head coach in the history of Shocker baseball. He has 15 years of coaching experience including 10 years as a Major League manager.
In his three years as a Shocker, Wedge played in 226 games and hit .333 with 212 runs, 257 hits, 54 doubles, four triples, 45 home runs, 206 RBI, 173 walks and 21 stolen bases. He was a member of three NCAA Tournament teams, two College World Series teams, three Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title teams and helped lead Wichita State to the 1989 National Championship.
Wedge, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., was drafted in the third round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft by the Boston Red Sox. He made his Major League debut on Oct. 5, 1991 for the Red Sox and played in 39 Major League games from 1991-94 with Boston and Colorado.
He began his coaching career in 1998 in the Cleveland Indians minor league system. He was named 1999 Carolina League Manager of the Year after leading Kinston to a 79-58 record. The Indians promoted Wedge to manager of the double-A Akron Aeros in 2000 and then to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons in 2001. He led the Bisons to a 91-51 first-place finish in the International League’s North Division and was named International League Manager of the Year and Baseball America’s Triple A Manager of the Year. In 2002, he led the Bisons to their second-straight postseason appearance and earned The Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year award.
In October of 2002, Wedge was named the manager of the Cleveland Indians. During his first three seasons, he guided the Indians from fourth place to second place in the American League Central Division standings. The 2005 team won 93 games and narrowly missed qualifying for the postseason. Wedge finished runner-up in the American League Manager of the Year voting.
In 2007, Wedge led the Indians to the Central Division title, and they defeated the Yankees in the ALDS before falling to the Red Sox in seven games in the ALCS. For his efforts, he was named American League Manager of the Year.
Wedge ended his coaching stint in Cleveland after the 2009 season, and in October of 2010, he was named manager of the Seattle Mariners. He won 213 games over three seasons with the Mariners.
After leaving the Mariners, he spent the 2014-15 season as a studio analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Since 2016, he has been a player development advisor for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Wichita State and Wedge have agreed to a five-year deal.
Eric Wedge Resume
As a Player:
Wichita State catcher 1987-89
College World Series National Championship: 1989
College World Series: 1988, 1989
NCAA Tournament: 1987, 1988, 1989
Missouri Valley Conference Regular-Season Champions: 1987, 1988, 1989
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Champions: 1987, 1988
First Team All-American: 1989
Finalist for the Golden Spikes Award & Bob Smith Award: 1989
Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year: 1989
College World Series All-Tournament Team: 1989
NCAA Regional Most Valuable Player: 1989
First Team All-Midwest Region: 1989
First Team All-Valley: 1989
Second Team All-Valley: 1988
All-MVC Tournament Team: 1987, 1988
Member of the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame, Wichita State Sports Hall of Fame and the Missouri Valley Conference All-Centennial Team
Led the NCAA in walks and total bases in 1989
Led the team in hitting, doubles, home runs and RBI in 1989
In Shocker career record books, is eighth in putouts (1,340), ninth in walks (173) and 11th in home runs (45)
25-game hitting streak in 1989 is the seventh-longest in school history
Drafted in the third-round of the 1989 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox
As a Coach:
Cleveland Indians Minor League System: 1998-2002
1999 Carolina League Manager of the Year
2001 International League Manager of the Year
2001 Baseball America Triple A Manager of the Year
2002 Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year
Cleveland Indians: 2003-09
561-573 overall record
6-5 in the postseason
2007 American League Manager of the Year
2007 Central Division champions
2007 Postseason berth
Seattle Mariners: 2011-13
213-273 overall record
"I think (the tournament expansion) really hurts the Power Conferences." - Digger Phelps.
Almost inconceivable that there would be interest from Kemnitz at his age. One has to wonder about Pelfrey's future, because Shocker pitching was not impressive this year. But a catcher should know something about pitching -- Dave Duncan was an outstanding pitching coach for Tony LaRussa for many years, for example -- so I'm confident he'll choose well.
At 51, Wedge is taking another uncommon baseball path. Former Major League managers rarely seem to coach in college – Eddie Stanky at South Alabama is one exception.
Wedge was not looking for a new job.
Wedge is coming back to Wichita because he wants to revive a program that last won an NCAA game in 2008 and last won a conference title in 2010. He was a major-league executive and could spend the rest of his working days in that field. He is not leaving the Toronto Blue Jays – where he works as player development adviser under Shapiro – for a new job.
He is back to work at his old job – carrying the Shockers.