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Chippewas Crowned Champions


They hit and they hit and they hit.
Then they hit the pool.
The Central Michigan baseball team pounded out 14 hits Friday in rolling past Western Michigan, 12-3, at Robert J. Bobb Stadium, wrapping up its first regular-season Mid-American Conference championship since 2010.

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Central Michigan can boast of some of the top facilities in the Mid-American Conference. Theunissen Stadium, named after former coach and CMU Hall of Fame member Bill Theunissen, was unveiled in 2002 and has provided the Chippewas with a true home-field advantage ever since.
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Steve Jaksa


Head Coach

The Central Michigan baseball program has competed at a championship level during Steve Jaksa's thirteen seasons as head coach. Coach Jaksa continues to lead the winningest Division I Baseball Program in the Midwest since the 1972 season. We are very proud of this continued commitment to excellence.

The Chippewas have won three Mid-American Conference championships (2004, 2010, 2015) and five MAC West Division titles (2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2015) during his tenure. Jaksa has led the Chippewas to nine 30-win campaigns. Jaksa led the Chippewas to their third MAC Tournament championship appearance in 2012, as the Maroon and Gold won four-straight games after dropping the tournament opener before falling in the title game. He owns 423 wins as a Chippewa, the third-most in CMU history, and a .564 winning percentage (423-326-1) in the Maroon and Gold.

CMU is 213-126 in Mid-American Conference play under Jaksa's guidance, finishing first or second in the West Division in nine of the past thirteen seasons. In addition to the division and overall titles, CMU has advanced to three MAC Tournament championship games (2005, 2010, 2012). In 2004 and 2015, Coach Jaksa was awarded Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors.


Jeff Opalewski


Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

Central Michigan has consistently fielded one of the Mid-American Conference's top pitching staffs during Jeff Opalewski's seven seasons as the program's pitching coach.

His outstanding work was rewarded in November 2014 with a promotion to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

The Chippewas' pitching staff finished the 2015 season, during which CMU won the MAC regular-season title, with a 3.64 cumulative earned run average, which ranked second in the Mid-American Conference and 67th nationally.


Doug Sanders


Assistant Coach

Doug Sanders joined the Central Michigan baseball coaching staff in July 2013.

The 2015 CMU team ranked #1 in defense and #1 in offense in the MAC conference. They finished the season with the best overall record in the conference. Pat McKenzie (Second Base) was drafted in 28th round by the Detroit Tigers, while Zach McKinstry and Daniel Jipping were named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.

Sanders spent three seasons at his alma mater, Kent State, as volunteer assistant coach on the staff of Coach Scott Stricklin. He was part of Kent State's incredible run through the NCAA Regional and Super Regional, as it earned a berth to the College World Series in Omaha in 2012. Sanders was responsible for defensive instruction, which contributed to the 29th-ranked defense in the country in 2010 and the No. 8 defense in 2011.


Tyler McFarland


Volunteer Assistant Coach

Aaron McLatcher


Assistant Director of Strength & Conditioning

Aaron McLatcher serves as the Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning and directly oversees the day to day strength and conditioning programs of the Chippewa baseball, gymnastics, volleyball and women's golf programs.

McLatcher travels to all games with the Chippewa baseball program, working with the student-athletes on flexibility, mobility, stretching, physical restoration and recovery time. He serves as the bullpen coach and assists in meal planning during road trips.

McLatcher earned his Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science from CMU in 2011 and his Masters of Science in Physical Education and Sport in 2014. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). During the offseason, McLatcher trains several former Chippewa baseball players who have moved onto the professional ranks.


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