FRESNO, Calif. – After spending the 2023 season as interim head coach of the Diamond 'Dogs, Ryan Overland has been named head coach of the Bulldog Baseball program, Fresno State Director of Athletics Terry Tumey announced on Wednesday.
"After an extensive national search, it became clear that Ryan Overland is the right coach to build upon our storied past and lead our baseball program into an exciting new era in our history," Tumey said.
"Ryan is a proud alumnus with a deep-rooted passion for Fresno State, Bulldog Baseball, and our Central Valley community," Tumey added. "He cares tremendously about the personal growth and holistic development of student-athletes, recruits at a high level, and has a unique ability to simultaneously acknowledge and celebrate tradition, while also embracing a whole new world of analytics and forward-thinking in the game of baseball. I am excited for Ryan to lead our proud Diamond 'Dogs program back to consistently competing for conference championships and national relevance."
Overland was named interim head coach in January 2023 following the retirement of Bulldog legend Mike Batesole. Overland led the Bulldogs to their first 30-win season since 2019 with an overall record of 30-27. Fresno State also earned its best Mountain West winning percentage since 2017 at 16-14 in conference play (.533). Prior to the 2023 season, Overland spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach for the Diamond 'Dogs, working alongside Batesole.
"I am extremely honored for the opportunity to be the head coach of Fresno State Baseball, a program that means so much to not only myself, but so many people," Overland said. "The pride and tradition of Bulldog Baseball runs deep through generations of Bulldogs and I am filled with excitement to lead the future of the program. I would like to thank Athletic Director Terry Tumey and President Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval for their leadership and vision for the future of both the University and the program."
Before being appointed interim head coach, Overland had served as the pitching coach for the Diamond 'Dogs for the past five years. In that time, the 'Dogs combined for 126 wins and a 5.01 ERA in 2001.0 innings and combined for 1,879 strikeouts while walking 844 for a 2.23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Overland also spent 10 years as the Bulldogs' Recruiting Coordinator, which led to 36 draft picks out of Fresno State, three of which were in the first round (Ryan Jensen, Taylor Ward and Aaron Judge).
"I am excited about Ryan being named the head baseball coach at Fresno State. He knows the expectations and the culture it takes to run a winning program firsthand. There is nobody better to lead the Bulldogs in this next chapter," said former Diamond 'Dog and current Yankee Captain Aaron Judge.
In Overland's 13 total years coaching the Bulldogs, Fresno State has produced 63 total all-conference selections and a whopping 170 academic all-conference team selections. The Bulldogs secured three league regular season titles and conference tournament titles in Overland's tenure, with three NCAA tournament appearances.
"OV is an unrelenting recruiter with a program plan. He is consistent and knows how to win including the last game of the year, as only a National Champion can. He can't be outworked," former head coach Mike Batesole said. "As a head coach, he will be over-prepared because he is excellent at thinking ahead, great at adjusting within the game and he will take calculated risks. He will get in the dirt with his players and have his players' backs. Most importantly, he will invest in them so much on and off the field, that his love for them will form the life-long bonds that only Bulldogs can."
In 2023, Murf Gray earned MW Freshman of the Week honors a record-setting seven times and was named Freshman of the Year under Overland's leadership. Roman Angelo and Ixan Henderson also earned MW Pitcher of the Week honors multiple times in 2023. Tommy Hopfe and Ixan Henderson were also named All-MW First Team while Roman Angelo and Bobby Blandford earned All-MW Second Team honors. After Fresno State's stint in the 2023 MW Championship, Travis Welker and Tommy Hopfe were named All-Tournament Team selections.
Overland has assisted in producing three conference Player of the Year winners (Dusty Robinson, Jordan Luplow and McCarthy Tatum and three conference Pitcher of the Year winners (Greg Gonzalez, Jimmy Lambert and Ryan Jensen) at Fresno State. Additionally, he has coached four Freshman of the Year winners (Aaron Judge, Blake Quinn, Carter Bins and Murf Gray) in his time with the Bulldogs.
Under Overland, standout catcher Taylor Ward became the highest-drafted catcher in Fresno State program history in 2015 after being selected by the Los Angeles Angels with the 26th overall selection. The junior started all 59 games in 2015 leading the Bulldogs in home runs (7), RBIs (42) and total bases (104) and earned first-team All-MW honors.
Six All-Americans have been developed during Overland's years on the Bulldogs' staff including Aaron Judge, Jordan Luplow, Ryan Jensen, McCarthy Tatum, Zach Ashford and Jaime Arias, and three Freshman All-Americans (Blake Quinn, Carter Bins, and Jaime Arias).
Overland has a long-running history at Fresno State as he was a catcher on the 2008 National Championship team. He started as the Bulldogs' baseball intern in 2011 and then shifted to the volunteer assistant position in 2012. In his career as a Bulldog student-athlete, he played in over 180 games and won three WAC Championships along with the 2008 National Championship.
In between his days as a Bulldog player and coach, Overland served as a graduate assistant coach at South Dakota State (2009-10). He helped lead the Jackrabbits to a regular season Summit League Championship in 2010 after finishing the season with a 39-21 mark as the hitting and catching coach. Under Overland, the Jackrabbits were first in the league in batting average (.350) in 2010 and set new school records in team hits, runs scored, doubles and wins. Eight all-league student-athletes were produced under him.