TERRE HAUTE —
Mitch Hannahs is the new baseball coach at Indiana State, landing the job at his alma mater.
Many alumni and fans saw Hannahs as the heir apparent to longtime coach Bob Warn. Hannahs, a 1989 All-American second baseman, served as an ISU assistant coach from 1995-99 and again in 2001.
After Rick Heller left earlier this month to become the coach at Iowa, Hannahs will direct the successful program.
“My family and I are excited to be coming back to Indiana State and the Terre Haute community,” said Hannahs. “I’m really looking forward to meeting the returning players and getting to work. There’s no question that it’s special to become the head coach at a place where you were a player and worked as an assistant coach. With so many connections to former players and within the community, this makes it a very special homecoming.”
ISU Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman said he was happy to announce his new coach.
“I am thrilled to announce that Mitch Hannahs will be our head baseball coach at Indiana State University,” Prettyman said. “Mitch is an amazing professional that has accomplished much in his personal and professional career. He brings to us a high level of administrative experience as well as a broad base of knowledge in professional and collegiate baseball.”
“As a member of the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame, Mitch is highly respected among our alumni, and the people of the community and region. He is committed to recruiting quality student-athletes and seeing them excel in the classroom and on the baseball field, but most of all he is committed to building young men that will be productive citizens in our community as they prepare for life after college. As good of a baseball coach as Mitch is, he is also an outstanding person and role model for the young men and women in our Athletics Department and in our community. Please join me as we welcome Mitch Hannahs and his family to the Sycamore Athletics family.”
Hannahs, a member of the 19th Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame Class in 2010, is one of the most decorated student-athletes in Sycamore baseball history. A four-year letterwinner from 1986-89, Hannahs 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.
Hannahs’ name is a frequent entry within the Sycamore baseball record book, as the former second baseman ranks tied for second in stolen bases (77), second in runs scored (220), second in on-base percentage (.475), third in walks (138), fourth in hits (274), fourth in triples (23) and sixth in batting average (.376) following his standout career.
The Milwaukee Brewers selected Hannahs in the 16th round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft with Hannahs playing three seasons in the minor leagues from 1989-1991. He put together a .306 batting average and 132 hits in 127 career games played.
Hannahs served as an assistant coach at Indiana State under legendary head coach Bob Warn, coaching the Sycamores from 1995-99 and again in 2001. Hannahs was head coach at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill., 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. He was inducted into the first class of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments at Skyvue High School while playing basketball and baseball.
Hannahs takes over after Rick Heller resigned on July 12 to take the head coaching position at the University of Iowa. The Sycamores tallied 131 victories and four consecutive winning seasons under Heller, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
Indiana State has reached the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in three of the past four seasons (2010, 2011 and 2013) and will be the tournament host for the 2014 MVC Baseball Championship next spring. Led by rising senior Mike Fitzgerald (.404 OBP, 12 doubles) and rising juniors Derek Hannahs (.309 BA), Landon Curry (35 runs, 19 stolen bases) and Jacob Hayes (12 stolen bases, 39 hits), the Sycamores will look to post the program’s sixth consecutive winning season on the diamond in 2014.
Derek Hannahs is the new coach’s son.