WICHITA, Kansas - Gene Stephenson was tearful as he announced Tuesday he was forced out as Wichita State’s Baseball Coach.
Stephenson says he didn’t like how the deal went down, but he wished the university the best.
“I love all the players who have ever played for us. They are all like sons to me. I wish the program the very best. The university the very best. Thank you,” Stephenson said at Tuesday’s press conference.
The rumors have been speculated for some time.
The coach met with Athletic Director Eric Sexton Monday afternoon.
Sexton left that meeting without talking to reporters, and he was out of the office Tuesday after Stephenson’s press conference but released a news statement saying Stephenson’s contract had been terminated.
Stephenson had coached at Wichita State for 36 years. Stephenson had one year left in his contract.
“We thank Coach Stephenson for his years of service and the efforts he has made in his life’s work building this program from the beginning,” said Sexton.
He guided the Shockers to the 1989 National Championship, seven College World Series appearances, 20 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season titles, 18 MVC Tournament titles and 54 All-Americans.
Stephenson told the media he hopes to coach again.
Stephenson announced that Brent Kemnitz will stay on as a coach. Sexton backs that statement up.
“Brent Kemnitz will assume day to day responsibilities and operations of the baseball program,” Sexton said. “Negotiations have begun to extend Brent’s contract (which already runs through 2014) to remain on staff, and be a part of Shocker Baseball moving forward. He has removed himself as a candidate for the Head Coaching position.