Oct. 1, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Zach Dillon has been named an interim assistant coach with the University of Iowa baseball program, UI head coach Jack Dahm announced Monday. Dillon, who served as a volunteer assistant with the Hawkeyes in 2010 and 2011, will be Iowa’s hitting coach, handle the catchers and coach third base.
Dillon replaces nine-year assistant Ryan Brownlee, who left to become head coach at Western Illinois last week.
“I am excited for the opportunity to return to the Iowa baseball program,” said Dillon. “I have the utmost respect for coach Dahm, and I am excited for the opportunity and challenge to help take this program to the next step.”
“We’re very excited to have Zach back with us,” said Dahm. “We know exactly what type of a coach he is and how talented he is. Zach has a high baseball IQ and is a tremendous teacher. He’ll give us a lot of input from the success he has had at Baylor as a player and coach.”
Dillon returns to Iowa City after serving as a volunteer assistant at Baylor in 2012. He helped guide the Bears to a Super Regional appearance, finishing 49-17 overall, one win shy of a school record and a trip to Omaha for the College World Series. Baylor climbed to No. 1 in the nation for the first time during the season and earned the No. 4 NCAA seed after claiming the Big 12 regular season championship.
Dillon coached a school-record 11 players to All-Big 12 recognition in 2012, including six first team selections and Big 12 Player of the Year Josh Ludy and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Nathan Orf. Four Bear players garnered Louisville Slugger All-America recognition — the most ever by a Big 12 team — and a total of six players were selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
During his first two seasons in Iowa City, Dillon helped guide Iowa to 50 victories, and he coached six players to All-Big Ten recognition. The Hawkeyes also had 20 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, including a school-record 12 in 2011.
In 2010, Iowa won 11 of its final 14 games to finish 30-28 overall. The Hawkeyes finished third in the Big Ten and was runner-up in the Big Ten Tournament, which tied the highest finish in school history. The tournament victories were the first for the program since 1990.
Dillon was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 20th Round (595th overall) of the 2006 amateur entry draft as a catcher. In 2007, he led the Frederick Keys (Class A-Advanced) to the Carolina League title and the following spring he was a Major League Spring Training invitee.
Dillon played collegiately at Baylor from 2003-06, where he helped the Bears to three NCAA Tournament appearances, two NCAA Super Regionals and a College World Series berth. Dillon was the 2006 Big 12 Player of the Year and was a two-time ABCA All-Region, two-time All-NCAA regional and two-time First Team All-Big 12 selection. He was also a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award in 2006.
As a senior, Dillon had a school-record .421 batting average with a .496 on-base percentage in Big 12 play. He led the Big 12 in batting average, walks and ranked nationally in walks (53, t4th) and walks per game (.840, 17th). He finished his career as a .307 hitter with 124 RBIs and 115 walks.
In the classroom, Dillon was a four-time academic all-conference selection, an ESPN the Magazine first team academic All-American and a 10-time Big 12 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient. He was also the recipient of spring post-graduate scholarship in 2009.
Dillon prepped at Dowling Catholic (Iowa) High School, leading the team to the 1999 and 2001 Iowa Class 4A state championship. He was a two-time first team all-state and three-time first team all-district selection and was the captain of the 2001 state championship football and baseball teams.
Dillon graduated Magna Cum Laude from Baylor with a bachelor’s degree in education in 2005. He later earned his master’s degree in education and sports management in 2009.
Dillon has a 1-year-old son, Hayden.