A Lifelong Tommie
Chris Olean has been affiliated with St. Thomas Baseball for the last 23 seasons as a player, assistant coach and head coach. The Toms have never had a losing season in that span.
He will enter his 11th year as head coach in 2019-20. Olean has established himself among the top coaches in Division III with a 295-137-1 record (.683 win %) including seven MIAC championships in his first 11 seasons, capped by third-place national finishes in both 2012 and 2014.
Olean has mentored six D-III All-America pitchers in his first 10 seasons as head coach. He was voted conference and Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013. In addition Coach Olean works with the Tommie pitching staff; which is a perennial top-10 staff in Division III baseball.
Olean was a nine-year assistant at St. Thomas from 2001-09 under legendary coach Dennis Denning. Chris was a key member of Denning's staff that guided St. Thomas to NCAA Division III National Championships in 2001 and 2009, along with an unprecedented seven straight MIAC conference titles from 2003-2009. While an assistant, Olean’s pitchers led the conference in ERA in eight of his nine seasons, and finished in the top 10 nationally in ERA in in four of nine seasons. Olean has also coached six pitchers who have gone on to play professionally, along with seven All America pitchers.
During Olean’s first 19 seasons coaching with Tommie baseball, UST has averaged more than 30 wins a season; won either the MIAC regular-season or post-season title each spring from 2002-2014; reached the NCAA playoffs 14 times; and reached the conference playoffs 18 of 19 times.
Tommie Baseball had a 54-game home winning streak end on March 30, 2015. At the time it was the second longest home string among all Division III men's teams in all sports behind only Mount Union’s 85-game football streak.
Olean’s 2012 Toms ranked first in fielding percentage in Division III as well as team strikeout-to-walk ratio, and were ranked as high as No. 2 in the national rankings before finishing third.
The 2014 Tommies finished No. 3 in the final Division III rankings and had a rare stat with three seniors surpassing 200 career hits – just the 10th, 11th and 12th players in MIAC history to achieve that feat.
The 2017 Tommie pitchers finished in Division's III's top five in WHIP, K-to-walk ratio, and strikeouts per nine innings, and also closed 10th in ERA at 3.01.
As a Tommie pitcher, Olean was a three-time All-MIAC selection, a three-time All-Midwest Regional selection, and member of the 1999 Division III World Series All-Tournament team. His Tommie teams won the MIAC conference title all four seasons and compiled a 152-32 record during his era as a player. In his senior season, the two-time team captain finished second in Division III in ERA (0.60) and finished with 97 strikeouts to only six walks while leading the Tommie’s to their first College World Series appearance. He was also named the MIAC Player of the Year and a first team All-America. He finished his career with the modern school career strikeout record (246 Ks in 248 innings), and his 24-8 career mark included a 15-1 record in conference play.
Olean was inducted into the University of St. Thomas Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
As a high-school player, the Minneapolis Washburn graduate was a three-time all-conference player, a three-time all-section player, a two-time All-Metro team member and a two-time All-State selection. Olean was in the top three in the state in ERA in both his junior and senior year. As a senior, Olean also batted over .400 and led the state in home runs with seven.
Olean was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 17th round of the 1999 amateur draft, and spent two seasons in their organization playing in Ogden, Helena, and Beloit (6-1, five saves, 3.50 ERA, one one-hitter). He also played one season with the St. Paul Saints.
Olean still pitches in Minnesota amateur baseball with the Miesville Mudhens. He also served as Mudhens' team manager until 2009 and guided them to a 118-52 record and won a 2007 class B state championships. Olean has managed multiple Division I players and former professionals in his time with the Mudhens. Olean is also a member of the Mudhens' board of directors and is involved in fundraising events, field improvement and maintenance, as well as player recruitment and retention.
As an amateur player, Olean has won a Class A state championship with the now defunct Glynn Building Products team, and Class B state titles with the Mudhens in 2007 and 2016. Olean is a six-time all-tournament selection combining both class A and B appearances.
Olean has worked at multiple baseball camps and clinics throughout the state over the last nine years. He has been a speaker at multiple coaches’ clinics and has given lessons at Blue Chip Academy, Minnesota Baseball Academy, and Acceleration Minnesota.
Chris Olean Year-By-Year
2011----28-18----------16-4 (tie 1st)
2017----29-18----------16-4 (tie 1st)
2018----20-18----------13-7 (tie 3rd)
Totals/295-137-1 (.683)---152-46 (.768)