Our Coaches

The University of Iowa softball team’s coaching staff is committed to excellence on and off the diamond. With over 2,000 combined wins as head coaches, the Iowa coaching staff brings experience, personality, and a winning culture to Iowa City.



Head coach Renee Gillispie

Head coach Renee Gillispie returned home in 2018 after 18 years at UCF. Gillispie started UCF’s Division I program in 2002, and averaged more than 36 wins per season. She has coached 75 all-conference honorees, 35 all-tournament selections, and 25 NFCA all-region selections. Eighty players have earned academic all-conference honors.


Gillispie assembled an accomplish staff around her and got to work to rejuvenate the Iowa softball program. The Hawkeyes were a Big-Ten best 17-5 before the 2020 season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Gillispie is a native of Danville, Iowa, and played collegiately at Kirkwood and West Texas A&M University.

Assistant Coach Trena Prater

Trena Prater joined the Hawkeye coaching staff in July 2018 after spending one season as an assistant with Coach Gillispie at UCF. Prater serves as Iowa’s recruiting coordinator, infield, and hitting coach.


A former first-team All-American and SEC Player of the Year at LSU, Prater, formerly Peel, played professionally for seven seasons while coaching as an assistant at George Washington, Mississippi Valley State, and Maryland. She then transitioned to being a Head Coach for three years at Hampton University and four years at The University of Buffalo.


Prater led Iowa batters on a resurgent pace in 2020, holding the third-highest team batting average in the Big Ten, while freshman Nia Carter led all Big Ten batters with a .509 average.

Assistant Coach Rick Dillinger

Assistant coach Rick Dillinger joined the Iowa coaching staff in August 2018 after 42 years as an Iowa high school softball coach. Dillinger is Iowa’s pitching coach.


Under Dillinger’s guidance, Iowa pitchers Allison Doocy and Lauren Shaw were among best in the Big Ten, while the team held the second lowest team ERA in the conference.


Dillinger holds a 1,165-551 record as a softball head coach, winning three state championships, 13 conference titles, nine sectional championships, 11 district championships, and appearing in 12 Iowa State Softball Tournaments.


Dillinger coached head coach Renee Gillispie at Danville Community School.

Our Managers

The Iowa softball team would not be able to operate successfully without the tireless effort from our team managers. This group of dedicated students assist our coaching staff at practice, on the road, and during games to keep the Hawkeyes at the top of their game.

Follow @iowasbmgrs on Twitter for updates from our manager staff.