From Diamond ‘Dog catcher to head coach: Overland earns the position


Valentina Saldaña/The Collegian

Head Coach Ryan Overland (left) and Fresno State Athletic Director Terry Tumey (right) at the official head coach introduction at Josephine Theater, on June 1.

By Valentina Saldaña, Sports Editor

Ryan Overland reminisced on the first time he saw a Fresno State baseball coach, Matt Curtis, with a stopwatch and a Bulldog cap in the end of the dugout at one of his baseball games.   

Curtis would end up calling him after that game, which would eventually begin the recruiting process for 18-year-old Overland. 

He recalls his first visit at Fresno State. 

“I will never forget coming here the first time and immediately falling in love with this place. Stepping on that field the first time and being around here, I immediately fell in love with it,” Overland said. 

He played for the Diamond ‘Dogs from 2005-08 as a catcher, and helped the team win three conference championships along with the 2008 College World Series.  

Almost two decades after his initial recruitment with Fresno State, the athletic department announced Overland as the ninth-ever head coach for the Diamond ‘Dogs on Wednesday, May 31. 

“To the coaches of this program, it’s been a long time and a long run of only a couple of people being able to have this seat and no one understands that more than me,” Overland said.  

He took over as interim head coach in January after his own college head coach, Mike Batesole, announced his retirement from coaching. 

“What he installed in us, not only for our team to get there, but for our lives. I can attest to that. Coach Batesole changed lives,” Overland said.

Batesole shared his thoughts on Overland being named the head coach through the Fresno State baseball social media accounts. 

“OV [Overland] 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,” he said. 

Overland began his coaching career at South Dakota State as a hitting and catching coach from 2008-10. 

After that he returned to the Valley in 2010 as a baseball intern then moved up the ranks from different responsibilities which included: volunteer assistant, assistant coach, recruiting coordinator, pitching coach and associate head coach, before his new appointment as head coach. 

In his first season as interim head coach, Overland led the Diamond ‘Dogs to their best Mountain West winning percentage since 2017 with a 16-14 record, their first 30-win season since 2019 and an appearance at the 2023 Mountain West Championship

Fresno State Athletic Director Terry Tumey shared what stood out from Overland for the position compared to other candidates. 

“Coach Overland was amazingly astute as we did a national search. To understand and give us an understanding of his breath and his vision for Bulldog baseball and what that means in the future,” Tumey said.