It’s awards day, as several baseball players were honored and a former K-State basketball coach got a posthumous Hall of Fame induction.
The All-Big 12 baseball squad was announced on Monday, highlighted by the inclusion of Kansas State left-handed starting pitcher Jordan Wicks on the first team. Wicks was the preseason Big 12 pitcher of the year and posted a 6-3 record with a 3.32 ERA in 14 starts. Joining him on the all-conference list were second-team selections Zach Kokoska and Dylan Phillips, and honorable mention designees Chris Ceballos, Tyler Eckberg and Cameron Thompson. Nick Goodwin was named to the All-Freshman Team.
In addition to the season awards, Wicks and Thompson picked up the Big 12 Player and Pitcher of the Week honors. Thompson turned in an absurd batting line, hitting .615 on the week and slugging 1.385. His OPS was 2.028, if math can be trusted. Thompson tied Craig Wilson in career starts at K-State, with 236, and sits fourth in career hits, with 274.
Wicks, meanwhile, went a season-high 7 2⁄3 innings in K-State’s 4-2 victory against TCU on Thursday night, allowing two earned runs and striking out seven.
Cotton Fitzsimmons, who spent three years at K-State before embarking on a 22-year NBA coaching career, has been named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. As successor to Tex Winter, Fitzsimmons had a tough act to follow. But in his second year as head coach, he led the Wildcats to the 1969-70 Big 8 title and an appearance in the Sweet-16 of the NCAA Tournament. Fitzsimmons passed away in 2004 at the age of 72.
The Florida Gators announced Erik Pastrana as their new head men’s basketball coach yesterday. Why is that relevant to K-State fans? Because Pastrana got his college coaching career started in Manhattan, as a graduate assistant under Frank Martin from 2007 through 2009. Pastrana has been an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State for the past two season.
Topeka NBC affiliate KSNT introduced K-State fans to the new Powercat Porch at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Located in the southeast corner of the complex, the facility will offer beer, wine, and margaritas to about 400 K-State fans at a time. (Sidenote: I wonder if beer will cost 12 dollars, as it does now at Kaufmann Stadium.)
Not long after Jon posted yesterday’s Slate, K-State President Richard Myers announced his retirement. After serving the nation as a four-star general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Myers took the helm as K-State President in 2016. He has marshalled the university through athletic administration changes, the transition from Coach Snyder’s tenure to the dawn of the Chris Kleiman era, the COVID-19 pandemic, and racial unrest on the K-State campus last summer. His retirement marks the end of a truly distinguished career of service, and we humbly salute him.