Feb. 6, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former Hawkeye Jim Magrane has been named the University of Iowa baseball program’s volunteer assistant coach, UI head coach Rick Heller announced Thursday. Magrane competed for the Hawkeyes from 1996-99.
“We are excited to add Jim to our coaching staff,” said Heller. “With his professional experience coupled with being a former Hawkeye, we couldn’t have found a better fit. Jim has outstanding baseball knowledge and a great work ethic, and will be a big addition to our staff.”
Magrane joins the program after a 13-year professional baseball career with the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals organizations, while also playing in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, China, Korea and Italy in 2013. He finished his career with a 102-93 record and a 3.84 ERA in 265 starts (307 appearances).
The Ottumwa, Iowa, native was the Tampa Bay Rays organization Pitcher of the Year in 2000, the Durham Bulls Triple-A Pitcher of the Year in 2004, and the Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 after becoming the first and only pitcher to lead the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts.
The right-hander was also tabbed as the Chinese Professional Baseball League Championship Series MVP in 2010 and the Italian Championship Series MVP in 2013. He helped teams to seven titles in his 13-year career, two coming at the Triple-A level.
Magrane has been active on coaching circuit in his career, serving as a volunteer assistant coach at Kirkwood Community College in 2011-12 and being a pitching instructor at Diamond Dreams Baseball Academy in Iowa City from 2003-08.
As a Hawkeye, Magrane was a third-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior, after going 6-4 with a 4.43 ERA. He threw a school-record 107 2/3 innings and struck out a UI single-season record 110 batters. During the 1999 season, Magrane also tied a 63-year old single-game record when he fanned 17 batters in a matchup against Western Illinois.
Magrane, who played two seasons apiece for Duane Banks and Scott Broghamer, went 11-8 during his Iowa career, finishing with 151 strikeouts in 172 2/3 innings. He signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999 and was drafted in the 33rd round by the New York Mets out of high school in the 1996 MLB Draft.
Magrane earned his bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa in 2005.
Magrane replaces Greg Byron, who recently accepted a position in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in player development and scouting.
“We are sorry to see Greg leave,” said Heller. “He was a great coach and I appreciate all of his hard work while he was with us. I am happy for the fantastic opportunity he has with the Cardinals and wish him well.”
The Hawkeyes open the 2014 season Feb. 14 at Austin Peay, beginning at 3:30 p.m. (CT).