WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Wichita State University announced Tuesday that it is launching a national search for a new head baseball coach.

Last October, coach Eric Wedge stepped away due to personal health-related matters. By early December, WSU announced the coach would not return, and Loren Hibbs would lead the program during the 2023 season.

Hibbs led the Shockers to a 30 and 25 record. He was named AAC Coach of the Year. The Shockers finished third in the AAC, tied for their best finish since joining the Conference.

WSU Athletic Director Kevin Saal wrote a letter to Shocker Nation on Tuesday.

“Over the last eight months, we have examined the state of our treasured baseball program, its recent challenges and what is needed moving forward,” he said.

He said they considered all factors and circumstances before deciding on a nationwide search.

“These decisions weigh heavy on our hearts because of their resulting impact on the people we care most deeply about … our student-athletes, coaches and Shocker Nation,” Saal said.

He expressed appreciation to Hibbs and the staff — Mike Pelfrey, Mike Sirianni, Nate Brisco, Conor Behrens, and Lottie Talbott — for their commitment.

“Shocker Baseball has a rich and storied tradition of success, having won 37 league championships and earned 27 NCAA Tournament berths in its history, including two Super Regionals, seven College World Series appearances and one National Championship,” Saal wrote. “Additionally, our program maintains a tradition for developing elite student-athletes boasting 56 college All-Americans, 42 Major League Baseball players and 15 first-round draft picks.”

He spoke of the urgency to return the program to Omaha, the home of the College World Series. Saal said they would work efficiently and thoughtfully to choose a new coach, but he has no definitive timeline.

“Transitions are always challenging, and we commend our student-athletes, coaches and staff for admirably navigating adversity these last many months,” Saal said. “Our student-athletes are determined and have never given up the fight for Wichita. We appreciate their stated desire and displayed commitment to returning this program to greatness.”