K-State's Brad Hill on the verge of Wildcat history

By  | 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- When the K-State Wildcats take on #21 West Virginia on Friday at home Wildcat baseball coach Brad Hill will be on the verge of etching his name into KSU record books.

Hill took over for Mike Clark in 2003 and now is tied with him at 435 career wins in a K-State uniform. One more victory and Hill will be the all-time leader in wins.

"That's a lot of wins. It takes a long time and it takes a lot of consistent work and consistent success here to rack up a number like that," said K-State senior infielder Jake Wodtke.

"I haven't thought about it at all," said Hill. "I'm all wrapped up in this team and this team going forward and trying to make some improvements."

Hill is in his 14th year coaching the Wildcats and he's preached consistency over and over, and it's helped take the Wildcats to new heights in Manhattan.

Under Hill the Wildcats won the 2013 Big 12 Championship, and advanced to the school's first Super Regional. He's also led the Wildcats to the NCAA Regionals in four out of the last eight seasons.

"He teaches toughness," said Wodtke. "You know it's one thing to compete at this level but it's another thing to succeed at this level and that takes a lot of commitment and toughness."

"I mean when you're not getting the 50 best recruits in the country it is what it is, and so when you can accomplish something like against the big guys it's like hey we're here to play and we can play with you," said K-State senior outfielder Steve Serratore. "That definitely makes a statement."

Players graduate and move on but while Hill is on the doorstep of K-State history he cherishes the bonds he's made.

"When the kids come back and you know I'm hard on them I push them hard and when they come back and they go 'coach I really appreciate it and I understand why you did what you did' and give you a big hug. Man that almost brings me to tears," said Hill. "Believe it or not, my players don't believe that but it really does."

Friday night's game between K-State and West Virginia is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium.