Rogers State Director of Athletics Ryan Erwin announced the hiring of Chris Klimas as the new head baseball coach on Monday afternoon.
Klimas, who has served on the coaching staff at Oklahoma Baptist University since 2001, becomes the second head coach in the history of the Hillcat baseball program. He replaces Ron Bradley who started the program in 2005 and retired earlier this month.
"We are thrilled to announce Chris Klimas as the second coach in RSU Hillcat Baseball history," Erwin said. "Coach Klimas possesses the qualities needed to continue to build upon the foundation the RSU baseball program has enjoyed since their inception. Coach Klimas is a great recruiter, who is very familiar with baseball in our region and his accomplishments at OBU on and off the field speak for themselves. He will be a great fit within the RSU family, our community, and our current student-athletes, and we are excited about the new era of Hillcat Baseball to begin under Coach Klimas' leadership."
Since 2010, Klimas has served as the associate head baseball coach at OBU and prior to 2010 he spent nine years as the assistant coach for the Bison. He has helped the Bison to four consecutive NAIA Baseball National Tournaments and qualified for the NAIA World Series twice in the last four years. Since 2011, the Bison have tallied an 80.8-percent winning percentage, registering a Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championship in 2012 and 2014. He has 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 has 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.
"I would like to personally thank Dr. Larry Rice and Mr. Ryan Erwin for the amazing opportunity to lead the Hillcat baseball program" Klimas said. "Having coached against RSU for the past eight years, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Rogers State University, the athletic department, and the Hillcat baseball program. Continuing the successful baseball tradition Coach Bradley started at RSU is something my family and I are extremely excited to begin."
As the top assistant for the Bison baseball program, Klimas served as the recruiting coordinator, managed fundraising efforts, and developed and oversaw the Bison baseball strength and conditioning program. Additionally, Klimas directed daily operations and was instrumental in facilitating practice plans, scouting reports and game plans.
A native of Broken Arrow, Okla., Klimas was a two-year starter at catcher for OBU from 1999-2001. He graduated from OBU in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Prior to his time at OBU, 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 University in 2012.