Rick Dillinger just completed his second season as Iowa’s pitching coach. He was announced as assistant coach on August 2, 2018.
Dillinger continued to craft one of the best pitching staffs in the country in 2020. The Hawkeyes ranked second in the Big Ten with a combined ERA of 2.15 and Iowa had two pitchers ranked inside the Big Ten’s top-four (Doocy, Shaw).
Senior Allison Doocy finished the season with 621 career strikeouts, to rank seventh on the Division I active career strikeouts list. Doocy was 17th in the nation with 10.4 strikeouts per seven innings and was second in the Big Ten in ERA (1.54). She led a pitching staff that combined to place 15th nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.85).
Junior Lauren Shaw returned to the mound after missing the 2019 season and became one of the conference’s dangerous pitchers. Shaw was fourth in the Big Ten with a 1.71 ERA and was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 18 for her first Big Ten weekly honor of her career.
As a team, Iowa gave up the second-fewest runs in the Big Ten (56), while striking out the most batters in the fewest innings (150.0 IP; 169 strikeouts).
In 2019, Dillinger helped guide junior Allison Doocy to All-Big Ten and All-Region honors, while developing sophomore Sarah Lehman into a successful starting pitcher. Lehman started in nine of her last 10 games, earning her first career victory over Rutgers in a complete game shutout.
Dillinger joins the Hawks after 42 years as a high school softball coach. He was the head coach at three different schools, Adel-DeSoto-Minburn, North Polk Community, and Danville Community School. Dillinger coached head coach Renee Gillispie at Danville Community School from 1976-79.
Dillinger holds a 1,165-551 record as a softball coach, winning three state championships, 13 conference titles, nine sectional championships, 11 district championships, and appearing in 12 Iowa State Softball Tournaments.
Dillinger has won numerous softball coaching accolades, including National Softball Coach of the Year (2004), District Softball Coach of the Year (1986, 1987, 2005, 2006, 2014, 2015, 2018) by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) and Iowa Girls Coaches Association (IGCA), Softball Coach of the Year (1979, 1987, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2014).
He is also a member of the Upper Iowa University Hall of Fame and IGCA Hall of Fame. Dillinger is a member of the IGCA, and has served as president (1995-1996), vice president (1989-1994), secretary (1988-89) and state softball chair (1988-1994). Dillinger currently sits on the IGCA Hall of Fame Committee for basketball and softball, the IGHSAU Softball Hall of Fame Committee, and the Softball Rules Committee.