Title: Head Coach - #8
Experience: Third Season
Alma Mater: Menlo College, 1998
Bio: Follow coach Christiansen on Twitter @SacStBaseball
Reggie Christiansen, the 2012 Western Athletic Conference coach of the year, is in his third season as head coach at Sacramento State. He took over the reigns of the program after spending the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the associate head coach.
In addition to being honored by the conference, Christiansen was named the 2012 Div. I Coach of the Year by Major League Baseball's Northern California scouts. The award is annually given to a Div. I, Div. II and community college head coach in Northern California for success on the field, player development and training approach.
In 2012 Christiansen guided the Hornets to one of the most successful seasons in program history. The Hornets won the WAC regular-season championship for the first time since joining the league in 1993 as Sacramento State was one of just two teams (Cornell, Ivy League) in the nation to go from last place in its respective conference in 2011 to first place in 2012.
Christiansen led the Hornets to their first-ever WAC Tournament title game as well in 2012 but lost in 13 innings to Fresno State. In four games at the WAC Tournament, Sacramento State tallied 60 hits and scored 32 runs.
En route to its first 30-win season since 2003, Sacramento State used Christiansen's defense-first philosphy to climb to the top of the WAC. The Hornets tallied a school record .979 fielding percentage, which led the conference and ranked No. 5 in the NCAA. The Hornets also shined at the plate last season, ranking No. 21 in the nation in doubles (122) and No. 30 in team batting average (.298).
The team's success was followed by individual awards. Junior second baseman Andrew Ayers was named WAC MVP while outfielder Rhys Hoskins was a unanimous freshman All-American, the first in program history. In all, the Hornets earned three first team all-WAC selections and three more second team choices.
Christiansen will have easily his most experienced team in 2013. Of the 59 games the Hornets played last year, Sacramento State returns the starting pitcher from all but one of them this season. The Hornets also lose just two regular position starters off last year's team - catcher Derrick Chung and first baseman Trevor Paine. Chung, along with closer R.J. Davis, were selected in the MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively. Paine will still be with the Hornets in 2012, but as a member of the coaching staff.
In 2011, his first as the Hornets’ head coach, Christiansen’s squad tallied 19 wins, including six WAC victories. The defensive-minded manager led the Hornets to a .969 fielding percentage - then the second-best mark in program history. Chung was named second team all-WAC after leading the Hornets with 18 doubles and a .406 on-base percentage while center fielder Kirby Young signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim following the season.
Before coming to Sacramento State to become an assistant for long-time head coach John Smith, Christiansen spent the previous four seasons (2005-08) as the head coach at South Dakota State. He served as the team’s hitting instructor, recruiting coordinator and third base coach.
Christiansen was given the task of guiding the Jackrabbits’ baseball program to Div. I as he took over at the beginning of their reclassification period. Christiansen posted a 96-113 record at South Dakota State, turning a 12-win team in Div. II a year previous to his hire into a team that won the Div. I Independent Tournament in 2007, posting a 34-19 record.
Under Christiansen, the 2007 Jackrabbits reshaped the SDSU record books. The squad set records for runs scored (395), hits (573), doubles (99), total bases (891), runs batted in (357) and at bats (1,824). In addition, the 2007 team fielded .962, just one percentage point off the school mark. Christiansen earned Div. I Independent Coach of the Year honors following that season.
SDSU earned national notoriety under Christiansen for playing Kansas in a three-game series in the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. Due to inclement weather at both locales, the teams finally found a safe haven indoors, but due to scheduling conflicts at the Metrodome, the teams played a 1:30 a.m. doubleheader followed by a 3:30 p.m. game the next day.
Prior to his arrival at South Dakota State, Christiansen was an assistant at Kansas under Ritch Price for two seasons. During his time with the Jayhawks, he served as first base coach and worked as a hitting instructor, while also overseeing the outfielders.
Under his tutelage, Kansas broke several school records and was honored by the Big 12 Conference. In 2004, Jayhawks hitters led the Big 12 with a .316 team batting average, the fourth highest in program history, while setting a school record with 697 hits. Kansas also shattered the school home run record during the Christiansen era.
Christiansen’s first collegiate head coaching job came in 2002 at his alma mater, Menlo College, in Atherton, Calif, where he had previously spent time as an assistant coach from 1997-99. He spent the 2001 season in his hometown as the head coach at Ferndale High School, and also spent time with three summer teams as an assistant coach, working with the San Mateo Bulldogs, the Humboldt Crabs and the Topeka Capitals.
Nine different players he coached during his short career have been drafted, including one, Travis Metcalf, that has seen action in the major leagues. Jake Rogers was selected in the 22nd round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Washington Nationals, while Craig Parry was selected in the 50th round of the 2008 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2012, Davis was a 20th round choice while Chung went in the 31st round.
Christiansen graduated from Menlo in 1998 with a degree in business administration and received his master’s degree from Kansas in 2004 in health, sport and exercise science.
A native of Ferndale, Calif., Christiansen and his wife Amber have two sons, Ryan and Reese, and a daughter, Ava.
<< Return to coaches for Baseball