Head Coach Chris Klimas
Chris Klimas begins his fifth season as head coach of the Rogers State baseball team after being hired as the second head coach in program history in July 2014.
Klimas guided the Hillcats to their third straight winning season in 2018 as the navy and red posted a 26-24 record. Klimas earned his 100th career victory during the season with a doubleheader sweep of Lubbock Christian on April 19 at the Diamond Sports Complex. Senior Tim Luce threw the first-ever no-hitter for the navy and red in a season-opening win over Randall. For the season, four Hillcats were named All-Heartland Conference in Spencer Bivens, Blake Chiaramonte, Brock Knoten and Zack Mann.
In the 2017 season, Klimas led the Hillcats to the first 30 win season since 2013 as the navy and red went 31-19. RSU finished sixth in the Heartland Conference with an 11-13 record. Infielder Chris Miguel became the first-ever Heartland Conference Player of the Year selection for the Cats since joining the league in 2013. RSU totaled four all-league selections in the 2017 season.
Two more Hillcats earned All-American honors under the guidance of Klimas, including the program's first-ever first team selection. Miguel garnered All-American First Team recognition from the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association, and Rusty Huber earned All-American Third Team honors from three different organizations (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, American Baseball Coaches Association and NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association). Miguel and Huber were First Team All-South Central Region picks from all three organizations as well during the 2017 season.
The Hillcats made a nine-win improvement in Klimas’ second campaign finishing with a 28-22 record, including an impressive 21-8 mark at the Diamond Sports Complex in 2016. RSU went 13-14 in the Heartland Conference, its most wins since joining the league in 2013, finishing tied for sixth in the conference standings. The Hillcats had their most impressive win in the NCAA Division II era with a 4-2 victory over No. 7-ranked Lubbock Christian.
Three Hillcats were named All-Heartland Conference, led by first-team selections Rusty Huber and Caleb Kohlmeyer, while Ismael Orozco was named to the second team. Huber and Kohlmeyer also garnered All-South Central Region selections by three different organizations; the American Baseball Coaches Association, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.
In his first season managing the team, Klimas led RSU to a 19-27 overall record going 9-18 in Heartland Conference action in 2015. The Hillcats had their first All-America selection since making the move to NCAA Division II as senior outfielder Andrew Vanisi was named NCBWA All-America Honorable Mention after landing on both the NCBWA and ABCA/Rawlings South Central All-Region first teams. Vanisi and Blake Gipson were named to the All-Heartland Conference squad.
Klimas served as the associate head baseball coach at OBU from 2010-2014 and prior to 2010, he spent nine years as the assistant coach for the Bison. He helped the team reach four-consecutive NAIA Baseball National Tournaments and qualified for the NAIA World Series twice during his last four years at OBU. The Bison tallied an 81-percent winning percentage between 2011 and 2014, registering Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships in 2012 and 2014. Klimas recruited and coached 10 players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft with two Bison selected in the top 10 rounds in 2014. During his tenure at OBU, he recruited and coached six First-Team NAIA All-Americans, seven Second-Team NAIA All-Americans, the NAIA Player of the Year in 2013 as well as 51 all-conference selections.
A native of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Klimas was a two-year starting catcher for the Bison from 1999-2001 and graduated from OBU in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Prior to his time with the Bison, Klimas earned an Associate of Arts from Collin County Community College (Texas), where he was a two-year starter, earning all-conference and all-region honors in 1999. Klimas earned a Master of Science in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Sport Administration from East Central in 2012.
Klimas and his wife Penny have two daughters, Charlee and Callie, and reside in Claremore.