Staff
Head Coach
Pete Hughes

Hughes was named the 21st head baseball coach in K-State history on June 8, 2018.

Hughes, who has a proven track record of setting new standards of excellence, has compiled a career record of 652-492-3 (.570) in 21 seasons as a head coach, serving as head coach at Trinity University (1997-98), Boston College (1999-2006), Virginia Tech (2007-13) and Oklahoma (2014-17).

Twice named both the New England Coach of the Year and BIG EAST Coach of the Year, as well as the 2000 American Baseball Coaches Association Northeast Region Coach of the Year, Hughes owns a well-deserved reputation as a relentless worker, tireless recruiter and charismatic leader.

Hughes has made a name for himself within the community throughout his career, starting with his 19 Ways Foundation. During his time in Norman, his teams raised over $80,000 to fight childhood cancer through the Vs. Cancer Foundation and the OU Children’s hospital. The Sooners also put on an annual ALS Awareness Halloween Game to benefit the ALS Foundation at the conclusion of each fall season.

Hughes comes to Manhattan after spending the 2018 season at the volunteer assistant coach at Georgia, where he helped the Bulldogs earn a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Primarily working with the team’s infielders, Hughes elevated UGA’s defense from the bottom of the SEC in 2017 to 10th-best in the nation in his one season in Athens.

In 2017, the Sooners registered a 35-24 mark and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed in the Louisville Regional. Hughes collected a 128-1074-1 (.544) record in four seasons at the helm of the Sooners.

In his final season as the OU skipper, Hughes tutored 10 players that were honored with Big 12 annual awards – the most in program history – including Brylie Ware who was named the Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team along with outfielder Steele Walker.

Inheriting a Virginia Tech club in 2007 that had not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2000, Hughes went on to lead the Hokies to five straight 30-win seasons, including a pair of 40-win seasons that culminated with berths in the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and 2013, the latter marking the school’s first-ever selection as a regional host site. Hughes compiled a 222-174 (.561) record in seven seasons at Virginia Tech.

Hughes produced an even more remarkable turnaround at Boston College, as he took over a program that had averaged just 13 wins a year over the previous 35 seasons. The Golden Eagles finished 17-23-1 the year prior to his arrival in 1998 and, two seasons later, the team registered an 18-game improvement as it finished 35-20 and qualified for the program’s second-ever appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament. In 2005, he guided BC to a school-record 37 victories.

Averaging 31 wins a season while at Boston College, Hughes owned a career mark of 250-181-2 (.580) as the Eagles’ skipper. He coached 37 all-conference selections while at Boston College, including Jared McGuire who was named 2005 BIG EAST Player of the Year.

In 21 seasons as a head coach, Hughes’ teams have finished .500 or better 19 times while he has overseen 74 former student-athletes selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including 15 taken in the first 10 rounds.

Hughes is a 1990 graduate of Davidson College where he played third base on the baseball team and quarterback for the Wildcats’ football team. He was captain of the baseball team as a senior and graduated that year with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology/anthropology.

Hughes began his coaching career at Hamilton College in New York in 1990-91, serving as an assistant in football and was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator for baseball. He continued in that dual role at Northeastern University in Boston from the fall of 1991 until the spring of 1996 when he landed the head baseball coaching position at Trinity.

A native of Brockton, Massachusetts, Hughes and his wife Debby have five children: Thomas, Hal, Dominic, Grace and P.J. Thomas is a rising senior infielder at Oklahoma while Hal, also an infielder, just completed his freshman season at LSU.

Assistant Coach
Austin Wates

Playing Career:
Virginia Tech, 2007-10
Third-round selection (No. 90 overall) of Houston Astros in 2010 MLB Draft
Houston Astros and Miami Marlins organizations (2010-15)

Austin Wates was hired by head coach Pete Hughes as assistant baseball coach on June 22, 2018.

Wates, who played under Hughes at Virginia Tech from 2007-10, spent the previous two seasons working for the Seattle Mariners as an area scout in South Texas. Wates has built strong relationships in the region that will have an instant impact on recruiting.

With the Mariners, Wates was responsible for identifying and evaluating prospective players at both the collegiate and high school levels in the South Texas region. In the 2018 MLB Draft, Seattle selected two players from his area, including right-handed pitcher Nolan Hoffman (5th round) from Texas A&M and Rice outfielder Cody Staab (30th round).

Wates was a third-round selection (No. 90 overall) by the Houston Astros in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft following his junior year. In three seasons for the Hokies, Wates had a career average of .367 while leading the team in steals all three seasons, totaling 49 career steals.

The 6-foot-1 utility player hit 15 home runs and drove in 129 runs in his time with VT and was a preseason all-America selection in 2010 by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, helping the Hokies to an NCAA Regional berth in 2010 – their first since 2010.

In six seasons in the minor leagues, Wates had a career slash line of .288/.362/.391 to go with 19 homers and 199 RBI. He quickly climbed the minor-league ladder, as he spent his last three professional seasons at the Triple-A level, both in the Astros (Oklahoma City) and Miami Marlins (New Orleans) organizations. In 2014, he was named the Pacific Coast League’s Best Baserunner after leading the league with 37 stolen bases. Wates was also named a Class-AA All-Star in 2012 while with Corpus Christi.

Additionally, Wates has been the head coach for the 14U Austin Horns Baseball Club in Austin, Texas, since 2016.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Wates completed his Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Virginia Tech in December of 2017. Watts and his wife, Christine, have one daughter, Grace.

Pitching Game Coordinator
Cord "Buck" Taylor

Playing Career:
Rancho Santiago College (now Santa Ana Community College) and MiraCosta College, 1992-93
San Francisco State, 1994-95
Vienna Lions, Austrian Baseball League, 1996

Coaching Career:
San Francisco State, Assistant Coach/Co-Head Coach, 1995-2000
Vienna Lions, Austrian Baseball League, 1996
Austrian National Team, Assistant Coach, 1996
Palomar Community College, Pitching/Catching Coach/Associate Head Coach, 2001-05
Palomar Community College, Head Coach, 2006-18

Cord “Buck” Taylor was named K-State pitching game coordinator on June 29, 2018 by head coach Pete Hughes.

Taylor spent the last 14 seasons as the head coach at Palomar Community College after originally joining the Palomar staff as the pitching and catching coach in 2001. Taylor compiled a 434-181 (.706) record while at the helm of the Comets, sending 21 pitchers into professional baseball, including current and former Major League pitchers Marcus Hatley (St. Louis Cardinals), Tim Hill (Kansas City Royals), James Hoyt (Houston Astros) and Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners).

“Buck Taylor has been regarded as one of the best coaches in the country for some time now,” Hughes said. “He is one of the best baseball minds in our game. Some of the top pitching coaches were former catchers, and he will bring a valuable perspective to our pitching game. He has a track record of developing pitchers and preparing them for the highest levels. He is a dynamic recruiter, great husband and father. He, his wife Natasha, and daughters Finley and Avery will be terrific additions to our great community here in Manhattan.”

“My family and I are honored to be new members of the Wildcat family,” said Taylor. “I am looking forward to identifying, recruiting and developing the best athletes in the country. I can’t wait to get to work with the outstanding staff Coach Hughes has put together.”

Palomar became the first Pacific Coast Athletic Conference team in history to land four players on Major League 25-man opening-day rosters in the same season. In addition to pitchers Hill, Hoyt and Vincent, infielder Tyler Saladino began the season with the Chicago White Sox and has since been traded to Milwaukee Brewers.

Taylor was honored as American Baseball Coaches Association/California Community College Athletic Association State Baseball Coach of the Year in 2008 and was named Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Baseball Coach of the Year eight times while he was selected as PCAC Coach of the Year across all men’s sports for both the 2008-09 and 2014-15 academic years. He won eight PCAC titles in his 14 seasons as head coach of Palomar.

His 2018 club won the outright conference title and went on to make an appearance in the Southern California Super Regionals. Perfect Game ranked his 2015 squad No. 2 among the nation’s community colleges at the end of the regular season and went on to finished with a national ranking of No. 9 following the postseason with a record of 36-8.

Taylor played two years at San Francisco State following junior-college stints at Rancho Santiago College (now Santa Ana Community College) and MiraCosta College. Following his collegiate career, he went on to play and manage professionally in Vienna, Austria, for the Vienna Lions, guiding them to a Vienna Baseball League title in 1996.

Prior to his time at Palomar, Taylor was an assistant coach and later co-head coach at his alma mater San Francisco State from 1995-2000.

Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology in 1995 and later earned his Master of Education in physical education and sports administration from Azusa Pacific in 2001. He also served as Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health and Recreation on Palomar’s full-time faculty.

A native of Carlsbad, California, Taylor and his wife, Natasha, have two daughters, Finley and Avery.

Volunteer Coach
Shane Conlon

Playing Career:
K-State, 2011-15
AZL Athletics, 2015

Coaching Career:
K-State, Volunteer Assistant Coach, 2015-pres.

Conlon enters his third year as a volunteer assistant coach with Kansas State baseball. Conlon was a four-year letterwinner for the Wildcats from 2011-15, including leading the Wildcats to their only Super Regional appearance in 2013.

In his first season as an assistant, Conlon helped K-State to a 29-26 overall record, its first winning season since the 2013 season. Conlon helped guide the Cats to victories over No. 4 South Carolina and No. 6 Texas Tech.

Conlon saw four Wildcats from the 2017 squad get selected in the last MLB Draft: Jordan Floyd (10th round, Kansas City), Jake Scudder (16th round, Washington), Parker Rigler (31st round, Chicago [AL]) and Josh Rolette (39th round, Cleveland).

During his career at K-State, Conlon posted a .300 career batting average and became the 18th Wildcat in program history to record at least 200 hits while also being just one of two Wildcats since 1997 to be named First Team All-Big 12 twice and was a unanimous selection in 2015.

Conlon began K-State’s magical 2013 season with a 15-game hitting streak on his way to posting career highs in every major statistical category that season, while finishing second in the Big 12 with 56 runs scored and third with 125 total bases. His seven home runs tied for the team lead while posting 25 multi-hit games while leading the Wildcats to a game away from the College World Series.

The Naperville, Illinois, native was selected in the 21st round by the Kansas City Royals in the 2013 MLB draft but did not sign and returned to K-State. After his collegiate career finished, he was selected by the Oakland A’s in the 34th round of the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft and spent a season with the A’s rookie league affiliate in Arizona.

In the minor leagues, Conlon recorded a .327 average with four doubles and 18 RBI.

Conlon and his wife, the former Kim Fairchild, currently reside in Manhattan.

Director of Baseball Operations
Ryan Connolly

Playing Career
Notre Dame, 2006-09

Coaching Career
Virginia Tech, Volunteer Assistant Coach, 2010-12
Radford, Assistant Coach, 2012-13
Oklahoma, Volunteer Assistant Coach & Recruiting Coordinator, 2013-15
Virginia Tech, Assistant Coach, 2015-17
Virginia Tech, Director of Centralized Recruiting, 2017-18

Connolly enters his first season as director of baseball operations at K-State. As the director of baseball operations, Connolly will spearhead the baseball program’s recruiting efforts as well as manage the team’s travel and summer camps.

“Ryan Connolly is a tremendous addition to our program,” Hughes said. “Programs are built with great people and great recruiters. We absolutely have both with Ryan. He will bring Kansas State baseball to the highest levels with the standards he has set organizationally in recruiting and work ethic. More importantly, the type of integrity and loyalty he personifies will be a great example to all of our players on a daily basis.”

Connolly comes to K-State after serving as the director of centralized recruiting for Virginia Tech Athletics for the 2017-18 season, where he spent the previous two seasons as an assistant baseball coach under former Hokies head coach Patrick Mason.

Connolly spent two seasons with Hughes at Oklahoma as the volunteer assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, leading the Sooners to the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the Big 12 in 2015. Prior to his time at OU, he was an assistant at Radford and was the volunteer assistant for two seasons with Hughes at Virginia Tech.

A native of Binghamton, New York, Connolly was a four-year monogram winner at Notre Dame, where he served as team captain his junior and senior seasons. The infielder/outfielder hit .324 with four homers in his final season with the Fighting Irish

Director of Player & Program Development
Colin Greaser

Playing Career:
Highland Community College, 2011-12
Professional Career:
Missouri State football, head equipment manager, 2014-15
K-State football, assistant equipment manager, 2015-16
K-State baseball, director of baseball operations, 2016-18

A Kansas State graduate, Greaser enters his third season with K-State baseball and his first season as the Director of Player and Program Development after two seasons as Director of Baseball Operations. In his role, he is responsible for managing the team's equipment, budget, student-athlete services, baseball alumni relations as well as the Wildcats' home, Tointon Family Stadium.

In his two seasons as director of baseball operations, his responsibilities included recruiting, travel and budgetary and equipment issues.
Prior to his appointment with K-State baseball, Greaser spent two years as assistant equipment manager for the K-State football program. There, he oversaw all aspects of equipment, apparel and laundry along with helping manage the student managers.

Before attending Kansas State, Greaser played baseball at Highland Community College for two years, where he was a pitcher for the Scotties.

A product of Troy, Kansas, Greaser is a 2014 graduate from Kansas State where he earned a degree in social sciences.