IOWA CITY, Iowa — Tom Gorzelanny, who spent the 2019 season as the University of Iowa baseball program’s volunteer assistant and pitching coach, returns to the staff in 2020 as the Hawkeyes’ director of player development.
“We’re excited bring Tom back to our staff in the player development role,” said Iowa head coach Rick Heller. “He did a great job with our pitching staff last year. He will be a valuable addition to our staff with his familiarity with our program.”
Gorzelanny helped the team post 31 victories last season – the program’s sixth straight 30-win season – and record a sixth straight Big Ten Tournament appearance. Iowa won six straight series during the regular season, which included series wins over No. 23 Illinois, No. 30 Nebraska, and No. 18 UC Irvine.
The Hawkeyes went 10-3 against top-30 opponents in 2019, including taking two of three games at No. 19 Oklahoma State.
Gorzelanny coached Grant Leonard to second-team All-Big Ten honors after the reliever set a program record, converting all 14 of his save chances. Leonard was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason List and he finished seventh nationally in saves.
After leading the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten Tournament win over top-seeded Indiana, Friday night starter Cole McDonald was selected in the 14th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Houston Astros. It marked the 13th straight year a Hawkeye was drafted.
Gorzelanny joined the Hawkeyes following a 12-year career in Major League Baseball where he pitched for Pittsburgh (five years), Chicago Cubs (two years), Washington (two years), Milwaukee (two years), Detroit (one year), and Cleveland (one year).
The left-handed pitcher finished his career with a 50-53 record with a 4.40 ERA over 314 appearances (121 starts). Gorzelanny’s best season came in 2007, where he went 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA, making 32 starts and logging more than 200 innings for the Pirates.
Gorzelanny retired from professional baseball in 2017.
Following his senior season at Marist (Illinois) High School, Gorzelanny was selected in the 38th round of the 2000 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox, but he elected to attend the University of Kansas. Gorzelanny spent two seasons in Lawrence — one as a redshirt — before transferring to Triton Community College.
After one season with the Trojans, Gorzelanny was drafted in the second round of the 2003 MLB Draft (45th overall pick) by Pittsburgh. He made his Major League debut in 2005 and played in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game.
Gorzelanny earned a regular spot in Pittsburgh’s rotation in 2007 — a season where he was a National League All-Star after being one of five players chosen from a final fan vote for the last spot on the NL roster.
Gorzelanny and his wife, Lindsey, reside in North Liberty with their two sons, Gavin and Connor.