Sac State baseball’s Reggie Christiansen wins 2019 ‘Best Coach’

Shaun Holkko

When Reggie Christiansen became head coach of Sacramento State’s baseball team in 2011, he had big shoes to fill, taking over for longtime head coach John Smith.

Now in his ninth season as head coach, with seven consecutive 30-plus win seasons, seven straight postseason appearances and two Western Athletic Conference tournament championships, Christiansen continues to add to his own legacy.

Sac State students voted Christiansen “Best Coach” in The State Hornet’s third annual “Best of Sac State” poll.

“We have very good coaches in our department and it’s certainly humbling to be awarded (best coach),” Christiansen said. “It goes to show you that winning matters, but so does making sure our guys do what’s right in the classroom and off the field.”

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Christiansen said new players arrive at Sac State as 18-year-old boys and leave as men. Junior outfielder Matt Smith, in his fourth year with the Hornets, said Christiansen is a mentor to the team.

“He cares for us like we’re his children,” Smith said. “He makes sure we’re doing it the right way and it’s a good honor for him to win. It’s an acknowledgment of all the hard work that he has done at the school.”

The Hornets are one of two California Division I programs with 30-plus wins in seven consecutive seasons. Christiansen has 235 total wins under his belt since 2012, ranking sixth most among California Division I schools.

“We’ve continued to try and build something,” Christiansen said. “We’re not content in continuing to move the program in a direction that we’re relevant on the national stage. We want to be a Top 25 type of program.”

Since 2011, Christiansen has coached 18 players to the MLB draft. In 2015, five players were drafted to the MLB from Sac State, the most under Christiansen.

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins highlights the 18 players drafted from Sac State since 2011. Following a stellar junior season, Hoskins was picked in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

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Hoskins was brought up to the big leagues at the end of the 2017 season and became a household name around the country. He hit 18 home runs in 50 games and finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting, despite playing only one-third of the season.

In 2018, three Sac State players were drafted to MLB. Junior outfielder James Outman, senior outfielder Ian Dawkins and senior infielder Vinny Esposito were all selected.

RELATED: Three Sacramento State baseball players selected in MLB Draft

Sac State has appeared in the NCAA tournament twice under Christiansen in 2014 and 2017.

The 2019 Hornets (21-10, 7-2 WAC) are well on their way to winning at least 30 games for the eighth straight season with 24 games remaining in the regular season. Sac State nearly tied the longest win streak of 12 games under Christiansen, winning 11 games in a row in February.

“I’ve been [coaching] for 18 years and there’s not one kid in our clubhouse or one kid on our team that is a bad kid,” Christiansen said. “It’s certainly enjoyable to show up to work every day and get a chance to be around (the team) and see them chase their dreams on the field.”