WICHITA, Kansas – Prior to 1978 the athletic department at nearby Newman University did not include baseball. Beginning that year, and for the next 23 seasons, Paul Sanagorski started and developed the program before becoming a coach in Minor League Baseball. On Tuesday the Wichita Wingnuts announced that Sanagorski will become the third hitting coach in team history.
The 67-year old Sanagorski made an immediate and long-lasting impact on college baseball in the city of Wichita. Six seasons after starting the Newman University baseball program, the coach guided the squad to its only ever appearance in the NAIA World Series where they placed fourth. He closed his career in the collegiate ranks with a 766-291 record and was named as a coach of the year on eight occasions.
The successful run at Newman earned him an opportunity to apply the trade in the professional ranks. In 2000 he was hired by the Florida Marlins as a Minor League hitting coach and went on to spend a total of 10 seasons within the organizations of the Marlins and Washington Nationals. Sanagorski has coached at every level of the Minor League Baseball pyramid from rookie ball to Triple-A.
Since stepping away from affiliated baseball, the veteran coach has shared his insights with member of the Friends University baseball team, coached at Bishop Carroll High School, and has instructed many young baseball players in Wichita and the surrounding area during individual lessons. His son Taylor, whom he coached at Bishop Carroll, is currently playing at Wichita State University and volunteered his services as a bullpen catcher for the Wingnuts during the 2015 season.
Sanagorski was inducted into the Newman University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007, the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009, and the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.