Robin Lund is in his fifth season as an assistant coach with the University of Iowa baseball program. Lund serves as the Hawkeyes’ pitching coach after working with the hitters and outfielders during his first season.
During Lund’s tenure in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes have won 103 games, had five All-Americans, two Big Ten Pitcher of the Years, one Big Ten Freshman of the Year, six ABCA/Rawlings All-Region and eight All-Big Ten honorees.
In 2022, Iowa won 36 games — the eighth most wins in a single season in program history — and finished tied for second in the Big Ten, posting a 17-7 overall record. Iowa won 20 of 27, 23 of 32 and 30 of 42 games down the stretch, including winning six straight series to close out the regular season to put itself in NCAA Regional conversation at season’s end.
Lund oversaw an Iowa pitching staff that was among the nation’s best, as it ranked second nationally in hits allowed per nine innings (6.88), third in strikeouts per nine innings (11.2), fourth in ERA (3.72) and 11th in WHIP (1.29). The staff led the Big Ten in virtually every pitching category during the season and it racked up a program record 609 strikeouts, shattering the previous record of 499 set in 2018.
Iowa had the four top strikeout games in the Big Ten (and six of the top 10) and it allowed five or fewer hits in 23 games. Remarkably, the staff allowed three runs or fewer in 32 of its 55 games during the season and posted five shutouts — the most since 2016.
Lund transformed South Dakota State transfer Adam Mazur into the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year — the second straight Hawkeye to earn the honor. Mazur earned Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-America and ABCA/Rawlings Third-Team All-America honors, while earning first-team all-region and first-team All-Big Ten distinction after going 7-3 with a 3.07 ERA with 98 strikeouts over 93 2/3 innings. Mazur had nine quality starts during the season.
Iowa also had two hurlers — senior Dylan Nedved and sophomore Ty Langenberg — finish with six and seven wins, respectively. Nedved was Iowa’s Mr. Versatility as a starter, reliever and closer at various points. He went 6-2 with a 3.47 ERA with 75 strikeouts over 72 2/3 innings, while Langenberg was 7-2 with a 3.71 ERA.
Senior reliever Ben Beutel earned second-team All-Big Ten and second-team ABCA/Rawlings All-Region honors after going 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA with four saves in 29 appearances. Beutel picked off nine batters during the year en route to being the second Hawkeye all-time to earn a Rawlings Gold Glove for being the best defensive pitcher in Division I college baseball.
Freshman fireballer Brody Brecht earned Freshman All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game after fanning 44 over 22 2/3 innings and allowing just one extra base hit.
Mazur led a quartet of Hawkeyes selected in the 2022 MLB Draft, as he was drafted in the second round (53rd pick) by the San Diego Padres. He was the program’s highest draft pick since 1990. The program also had two additional top 10 round picks — the three top 10 rounders are the most in school history — in Peyton Williams (Seventh Round, Toronto) and Dylan Nedved (Ninth Round, San Diego), while Duncan Davitt was chosen in the 18th Round by Tampa Bay. Ben Beutel also signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago White Sox.
Lund has had seven pitchers move on to MLB organizations during the past two seasons.
During the 2021 season, the Hawkeyes won a school-record 26 games, finishing 26-18 overall, while facing a Big Ten-only schedule during the COVID-affected season. After starting the season 4-8, Iowa rattled off 11 wins in 12 contests and 15 in 18 games. The team won seven of their final 10 series to be right in the middle of the NCAA Regional conversation at season’s end.
Under Lund’s watch, Friday night starter Trenton Wallace had a breakthrough season, earning second-team All-America honors by both ABCA/Rawlings and Collegiate Baseball in his first season as a weekend starter. Wallace also was the first Hawkeye to earn Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors after going 7-1 with a 2.34 ERA over 73 innings and 13 starts. His 106 strikeouts were the second-most all-time behind Jim Magrane’s 110 strikeouts in 1999.
With Wallace on the mound, Iowa won. The Hawkeyes won nine consecutive series openers to close out the season and 11 of 13 series openers on the year.
Iowa’s starting pitchers posted 19 quality starts on the year and the pitching staff ranked fourth in the Big Ten in ERA (4.68). The team’s 390 strikeouts were the fourth-most in a single season in school history. Lund also helped utility man Dylan Nedved develop into one of the top closers in the Big Ten. Nedved ranked second in the league with nine saves.
Four players, including three pitchers, joined MLB organizations following the season. Wallace and Drew Irvine were MLB Draft picks, while outfielder Ben Norman and Jack Dreyer signed as undrafted free agents.
During the 2020 season, Iowa won 10 games in the first month, including posting victories over ranked foes No. 18 Arizona, No. 20 North Carolina, and No. 14 Duke. The Hawkeyes went 2-1 at the CambriaCollegeClassic, a tournament in Minneapolis pitting the Big Ten Conference against the ACC. The season came to an abrupt end on March 12 when it was cancelled because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
During his first season in Iowa City, Lund helped the Hawkeyes to 31 victories — the program’s sixth straight 30-win season — and a record 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 team went 10-3 against top-30 opponents in 2019, including taking two of three games at No. 19 Oklahoma State.
Redshirt junior Grant Leonard set a program saves record, converting all 14 of his chances to garner second-team All-Big Ten honors. 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 selected in the draft.
Lund joined the program after serving as volunteer hitting coach for the Northern Iowa softball program during the 2018 season. Lund, who holds his doctorate in exercise science, was an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at UNI from 2002-2018. Lund’s main teaching responsibilities were in the areas of biomechanics, anatomy, statistics, and research methods. Lund’s research was focused primarily on improving athletic performance
During his career, Lund also served as a baseball strength and conditioning coach at several stops. He was volunteer strength and conditioning coach under Heller at UNI in 2005-06. Lund also held positions at Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, in 2000-01 and in Minor League Baseball for the Spokane Indians in 1998.
Lund earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Whitworth College in 1995 and his master’s degree in exercise science from Eastern Washington in 1997. He completed his Ph.D. in exercise science at the University of Idaho in 2002.
Lund is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is a past president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association of Iowa. He also is up on the latest baseball analytic trends with Hittrax, Rapsodo, and Blast Sensor. He and his wife, Susie, have three children, Abbie, Brett, and Sam.