Wichita State is expected to name Mike Pelfrey as the team’s new pitching coach, WSU officials confirmed to The Sunflower late Sunday evening.
Pelfrey, a veteran MLB pitcher, will replace Mike Steele. Steele announced his departure just six weeks before the start of the season.
Pelfrey was back in classes at WSU this fall, completing a degree in sport management he started more than a decade ago. He told The Sunflower in an interview this fall that he “wanted to make sure if that was ever an obstacle, I’d have it taken care of,” as he pursued his second career, coaching Division I baseball.
He has spent the last year as an assistant coach for the Newman Jets, a Division-II school in Wichita.
“This is what I know, this is what I love,” Pelfrey said.
Pelfrey is a Wichita native. He played at Heights high school before committing to play three seasons at WSU for head coach Gene Stephenson.
“I always wanted to be here,” Pelfrey said of WSU. “I was the easiest recruit Wichita State has ever had.”
Pelfrey was taken near the top of the 2009 MLB Draft, starting his career with the New York Mets. At age 33, Pelfrey retired from the Majors.
“He’s such a down-to-earth, personable guy who genuinely cares for people,” Brent Kemnitz, WSU’s pitching coach of 38 years, said of Pelfrey. “It’s so refreshing to be around him.”
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