It’s sad that Gene Stephenson’s tenure as Wichita State University’s baseball coach didn’t have a better ending. But he should be proud of his remarkable accomplishments.
Stephenson said at an emotional press conference Tuesday that WSU had fired him with one year remaining on his contract. “I am sorely disappointed about the way this went down,” he said.
It was a difficult decision for all involved.
When he arrived at WSU in 1977, the baseball program was dormant. But with his trademark grit and determination, he soon turned WSU into a national power.
Stephenson coached the Shockers to seven College World Series, winning the title in 1989. He leaves WSU with a record of 1,837-675-3.
He also raised money to build Eck Stadium, one of the nicest college baseball facilities in the nation.
It’s painful to see a legend go, especially when it wasn’t on his own terms. But Stephenson will be fondly remembered by WSU fans and his legacy will be long-lasting.