Head coach Mitch Hannahs enters his eighth season at the helm of the Indiana State baseball program after returning to his alma mater in 2013. Hannahs, who is one of the most decorated student-athletes in program history, entered the Indiana State Hall of Fame in 2010. Overall, Hannahs has been a part of seven of the programs 11 trips to the NCAA Postseason Tournament as a player or coach.
Since taking over the program in 2013, Hannahs has led the Sycamores to 209 wins, a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances including a regional final in 2019 and five top-3 finishes in the Missouri Valley Conference. He sits second all-time in career wins behind legendary head coach and ISU Hall of Famer Bob Warn who guided the program to 1,070 wins from 1976-2006.
Hannahs led his club to an 8-6 record in 2020 before the season was suspended due to COVID-19.
2019 served as a milestone year for Hannahs and the Sycamores. ISU picked up its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance after securing the No. 2 seed at the Nashville Regional following Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship -- the first in over 20 years for the program. After knocking off both McNeese and Ohio State, the Sycamores advanced to the regional final against No. 1 ranked Vanderbilt, falling to the eventual National Champion Commodores.
Indiana State used a wealth of experience to make the magical run with 13 seniors on the roster. In 2019, Hannahs coached seven All-MVC selections, including three first team honorees. Third baseman Jake Means was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year while starting pitcher Collin Liberatore earned Newcomer of the Year honors from The Valley. Five Sycamores were tabbed MVC Scholar Athletes while catcher Max Wright picked up CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades. Clay Dungan, Triston Polley and Jake Means were each selected in the MLB Draft.
Indiana State entered the national ranking in three different polls in 2019, coming in at No. 23 in both D1Baseball.com and Perfect Game while sitting at No. 25 in the Baseball America poll. The last time the Sycamores were nationally ranked was at the conclusion of the 1989 season when ranked 22nd by Collegiate Baseball.
He led the Sycamores to a 31-24 overall record during the 2018 campaign and an 11-10 clip in Valley play. Hannahs eclipsed the 100-career win mark at Indiana State and moved into second all-time in program history in career wins behind long time skipper Bob Warn.
Jake Means, Dane Giesler, Tyler Ward and Jarrod Watkins earned MVC postseason honors while Ward was also named an Honorable Mention MVC Scholar Athlete. Right-hander Ethan Larrison was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 16th round of the MLB Draft.
Hannahs saw four players drafted in the 2017 season after the Sycamores finished the year 29-26 and 12-9 in The Valley. Four Sycamores earned MVC Postseason honors, including Tony Rosselli who was tabbed First Team All-MVC. Austin Conway Dane Giesler and Will Kincanon earned second team honors.
Year three in Terre Haute was a standout season for the Sycamores under Hannahs. He led the squad to a 35-21 record and a 13-8 finish in the MVC and the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The 2016 season was full of memorable moments including weekend sweeps at Campbell, Butler as well as an impressive sweep at home against nationally ranked Missouri State.
Andy DeJesus, Hunter Owen, Andy Young, Jeremy McKinney and Tyler Friis earned MVC postseason honors while Hunter Owen and Andy Young were taken in the MLB Draft. Right-hander Tyler Ward was also named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
The 2015 Sycamores finished 28-26 overall and 8-13 in the Valley. Key wins during the 2015 campaign include defeating NCAA runner-up and defending champion Vanderbilt, 8-1 in Port Charlotte, Fla. Indiana State swept in-state rival Indiana, taking two games from the Hoosiers.
In his first season at the helm, Hannahs led the Sycamores to a 35-18 overall record and 14-7 in the Missouri Valley while earning an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. The Sycamores were placed in the Bloomington Regional, falling to Stanford and Youngstown State. Infielder Tyler Wampler pitcher Ryan Keaffaber earned MVC postseason honors.
Hannahs is four-year letterwinner from 1986-89. He finished his career on the diamond with a .376 batting average, 274 hits, 34 doubles, 23 triples, 11 home runs, 220 runs scored, 138 runs batted in and 77 stolen bases. An American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Baseball America All-American in 1989, Hannahs led the team with a .428 batting average, 101 hits and 76 runs scored in his senior season while the Sycamores claimed the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship.
With Hannahs on the diamond from 1986-89, Indiana State posted 172 victories and made trips to the NCAA Tournament in 1986, 1987 and 1989, including the 1986 College World Series team – the lone trip to the CWS in program history.
Following his collegiate career, Hannahs was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 16th round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft. He went on to play three seasons in the minor leagues from 1989 to 1991 where he compiled a .306 batting average with 132 hits in 127 career games played.
He returned to Terre Haute in 1995 to serve as an assistant coach for Bob Warn. He worked as the hitting and infield coach from 1995 to 1999 and was the Sycamores’ coach for pitchers and catchers from 1999 to 2001. He oversaw the development of several potential major league pitchers including Mitch Stetter, Joe Thatcher, Matt Zaleski, Alex Graman, and Aric LeClaire. Under Hannahs, the Sycamores saw the revitalizing of a pitching staff that ranked eighth in team earned run average in the Missouri Valley Conference, improving to third in the MVC.
Hannahs went on to become the head coach at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Illinois, for nine seasons where he led the Statesmen to Region 24 titles in 2005 and 2007, and the Great Rivers Athletic Conference championship in 2006 and 2007.
Hannahs was also inducted into the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments at Skyvue High School (Graysville, Ohio) where he played basketball and baseball.
Hannahs graduated from Indiana State in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. Hannahs and his wife, Amy, have three children: Derek, Kylee and Kaleb.
Overall Coaching Record
|2020 (Cut Short - COVID)||8-6||0-0|
|Overall Record (7 Seasons)||209-139||71-55|
|MLB Draft Picks Under Mitch Hannahs|
|2014||Tyler Wampler||17th||519||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|2014||Mike Fitzgerald||27th||807||San Diego Padres|
|2015||Jeff Degano||2nd||57||New York Yankees|
|2016||Hunter Owen||25th||765||Pittsburg Pirates|
|2016||Andy Young||37th||1126||St. Louis Cardinals|
|2017||Will Kincanon||11th||327||Chicago White Sox|
|2017||Tyler Friis||21st||642||Cleveland Indians|
|2017||Jeremy McKinney||31st||943||Washington Nationals|
|2017||Damon Olds||33rd||990||Kansas City Royals|
|2018||Ethan Larrison||16th||489||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|2019||Clay Dungan||9th||259||Kansas City Royals|
|2019||Triston Polley||16th||475||Texas Rangers|
|2019||Jake Means||22nd||649||Kansas City Royals|
The 2020 season will mark the 12th season for Brian Smiley in the dugout at Indiana State. He spent his first eight seasons as an Assistant Coach before being promoted to Associate Head Coach in July of 2017.
A Mount Vernon, Indiana native, Smiley has recruited and coached some of the biggest names to come out of Indiana State in recent memory including Sean Manaea (1st Round), Jeff Degano (2nd Round), Jake Petricka (2nd Round), Dakota Bacus (9th Round), Clay Dungan (9th Round), Colin Rae (12th Round), Triston Polley (16th Round) and Ryan Strausborger (16th Round) among many others.
Smiley recruited all four Sycamores that were selected in the 2017 MLB Draft (Will Kincanon, Tyler Friis, Jeremy McKinney and Damon Olds) which was the largest draft class for the Sycamores since the 2009 season.
Smiley has helped guide the Sycamores to three NCAA Postseason berths during his time in Terre Haute. The 2019 season was a monumental season for Indiana State as the Sycamores finished with a 43-18 record, including a program best 20-2 start to the season.
Indiana State went on to claim the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament crown, marking the first time that Indiana State had won the MVC Tournament since 1995 after winning four-straight elimination games and two-straight games against nationally ranked Dallas Baptist.
Following the tournament championship. the Sycamores went to the NCAA Nashville Regional hosted by top-seeded Vanderbilt. Indiana State defeated McNeese to open the regional before eliminating Ohio State a day later. The Sycamores’ season came to a close after falling to the eventual National Champion Commodores in the regional final.
Indiana State entered the national ranking in three different polls in 2019, coming in at No. 23 in both the D1Baseball.com and Perfect Game rankings while sitting at No. 25 in the Baseball America poll. The last time the Sycamores were nationally ranked was at the conclusion of the 1989 season when ranked 22nd by Collegiate Baseball.
In 2014, Smiley and the Sycamores picked up another NCAA Regional berth after finishing the season 35-18 overall and 14-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Sycamores went to the Bloomington Regional hosted by Indiana, falling to Stanford and Youngstown State in the postseason.
Smiley helped guide the Sycamores to their first outright Missouri Valley Conference title in 2012 after ISU finished the regular season 41-19 overall and 14-7 in league play. The Sycamores were awarded with an NCAA berth and a trip to Eugene, Oregon as the No. 3 seed in the regional. Jeremy Lucas earned MVC Player of the Year honors after ranking in the top five in The Valley in batting average, runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases, hits, home runs and RBIs.
Working primarily with the Sycamore infield, Smiley has watched his defense continually improve, ranking as high as fifth in the nation in fielding percentage in 2016 with a .980 fielding percentage. The Sycamores been ranked in the top-50 in the nation in fielding over the last four seasons and have been consistently ranked at the top of the Missouri Valley in the category.
The Sycamores have three infielders in pro baseball from the 2016 and 2017 classes including Andy Young, Hunter Owen and Tyler Friis. Young was added to the Arizona Diamondbacks 40-man roster in the fall of 2019 after hitting .280 with a .373 on-base percentage in 28 games with Triple A Reno. Owen played the final 42 games of the season with the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he recorded 23 base hits and a .325 slugging percentage. Friis, a 2017 draftee by the Cleveland Indians saw playing time in just his third minor league season with the Double A Arkansas RubberDucks.
In 2019, Smiley coached the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year in Jake Means. Means was a Rawlings Gold Glove finalist and finished the season with a .284 batting average and led ISU with 34 RBIs and 14 hit-by-pitch.
Means was second on the team with a .416 on-base percentage and 27 walks. A Gardner, Kansas product, Means assisted on 107 outs and recorded 42 putouts for a .974 fielding percentage at third base while playing a part in nine double plays for the Sycamores.
During his two-year career at Indiana State, Means went for a .449 slugging percentage, 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 62 RBI in 97 starts. Following the 2019 campaign he went on to be drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 22nd round.
Smiley also recruited four-year letterwinner Clay Dungan. Dungan's selection in the 9th round marks the highest Sycamore draftee since Jeff Degano was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 2015 draft. Dungan finished the season with a .305 average over 61 starts at shortstop.
Dungan, a Yorktown, Indiana native led the team with nine home runs, a .481 slugging percentage and 36 walks. He finished his ISU career playing in 200 games, starting in 191 of them. A left-handed bat, Dungan tallied 44 doubles, seven triples, 19 home runs and 129 RBI over his four-year career.
Over his four years as a student-athlete in collegiate baseball, Smiley played one season each at Triton and Lincoln Trail Community College before transferring to play two seasons at Arkansas - Little Rock where he graduated with a bachelors in exercise science.
Brian, his wife Katie, and their three children, Isaac (4), Christian (3) and Vivienne (1) reside in Terre Haute.