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Season Review: Chippewas' Strong Finish Builds for Future

In a season full of high expectations and goals, the Central Michigan baseball program turned around its season over the last 20 games and finished just one win away from winning a Mid-American Conference Tournament title.



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 twelve seasons as head coach. Coach Jaksa continues to lead the winningest Division I Baseball Program in the Midwest since the 1972 season.

The Chippewas have won two Mid-American Conference championships (2004, 2010) and four MAC West Division titles (2004, 2006, 2010, 2011) during his tenure. Jaksa has led the Chippewas to eight 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 388 wins as a Chippewa, the third-most in CMU history, and a .560 winning percentage (388-304-1) in the Maroon and Gold.

CMU is 193-119 in Mid-American Conference play under Jaksa's guidance, finishing first or second in the West Division in eight of the past twelve seasons. In addition to the division and overall titles, CMU has advanced to three MAC Tournament championship games (2005, 2010, 2012). In 2004, Coach Jaksa was awarded Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors.

During Jaksa's tenure, he has mentored 38 All-MAC selections, including 14 first team honorees, ten all-region choices, three All-Americans, three Freshman All-Americans, five Academic All-District IV selections, three Academic All-Americans and 23 Academic All-MAC honorees.


Jeff Opalewski


Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

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

The Chippewas once again led the Mid-American Conference in ERA (3.39), which was good for 66th nationally. This group was led by 1st Team All-MAC Selections Pat Kaminska, who was also an All-Mideast Region Selection, and Tim Black, who's nine saves tied teammate Matt Trowbridge's 2013 total which is the second highest number in Chippewa history. This now makes five first team All-MAC picks and six second team All-MAC selections during in his tenure.

For the 6th straight year the CMU pitching staff has had a player drafted or signed to a major league contract as a free agent under Opalewski's tutelage. Jordan Foley (5th round, NY Yankees) was the program's highest draft pick since 2003. Matt Trowbridge was also a 13th round selection of the Baltimore Orioles and Pat Kaminska signed a free agent contract with the Texas Rangers. That now makes eleven CMU hurlers that have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft under his watch, along with four others that have signed contracts as undrafted free agents.


Doug Sanders


Assistant Coach

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

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.

In 2013, he was a full-time assistant coach at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.


William Arnold


Assistant Coach

Former Central Michigan standout Will Arnold joined the staff as an undergraduate student assistant during the 2013 season and upon graduation was named the volunteer assistant.

A Mount Pleasant native, Arnold started 102 games over his final two seasons and earned a spot on the All-MAC team in 2012 after leading the Chippewas in RBI, walks, putouts and fielding percentage.

Arnold was a mainstay behind the plate, leading a pitching staff that has had seven players drafted in the last two seasons, as he will work primarly with CMU catches as a part of its' coaching staff. Arnold was named Co-Mr. Baseball by the Michigan High School Coaches Association in 2008 following a star senior season for Mount Pleasant High School.

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