FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – University of Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb announced the hiring of former Illini pitcher and volunteer assistant coach Drew Dickinson as the pitching coach for the Orange and Blue on Wednesday. A two-time All-American and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year as a player, Dickinson was Illinois’ volunteer assistant in 2009 and 2011 after a seven-year professional career.
“I’m extremely happy to be able to bring Drew on our staff full time,” Hartleb said. “He has a great baseball mind and is great at connecting with our players because of his infectious energy. I really believe that he will help us build on our success from this past year and become a perennial NCAA Tournament contender.”
Dickinson helped anchor the Illini pitching staff in the early part of the 21st century, being named the 2001 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball in both 2001 and 2002. He was 30-7 in his career, sharing the school record for wins with Mark Dressen and ranking second in winning percentage among pitchers with more than 30 decisions behind Jason Anderson. Dickinson also holds the school record for innings pitched in a Big Ten season; ranks second in career Big Ten wins and innings pitched; and third in career innings pitched, career strikeouts and career Big Ten strikeouts. He also holds the second- and third-highest strikeout totals in a season in school history with 107 punch-outs in 2002 and 99 in 2001. And Dickinson boasts the third- and fourth-highest innings pitched in a season with 115 1/3 in 2001 and 114 2/3 in 2002.
“I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity that Coach Hartleb is giving me,” Dickinson said. “I love the University of Illinois and the Champaign-Urbana community, and I have a true passion for the Illinois baseball program. I look forward to working side by side with Coach Hartleb and Coach (Eric) Snider as we strive to make Illinois one of the top programs in the country.”
Following his professional career, Dickinson served as Illinois’ volunteer assistant coach in 2009, helping guide the Illini pitching staff to its lowest ERA since 2005. He then served as pitching coach for the Northern League’s Schaumburg Flyers in 2010, leading them to the third-best ERA in the league after finishing last the three previous years.
Dickinson then returned to Illinois as a volunteer assistant in 2011, helping the Illini staff to its lowest ERA since 2005, besting the 2009 team’s mark. He assisted the development of a staff that helped lift Illinois to Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships for the first time in school history and an appearance in the NCAA Fullerton Regional championship game.
A 2009 graduate of Illinois, Dickinson holds a B.S. in communication. He was selected in the 28th round by the Oakland Athletics in the 2002 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and reached the double-A level with the A’s. He was an all-star in the Midwest League in 2003 and was named a Top 25 Prospect in the A’s system in 2004.
The Drew Dickinson File
Born: Dec. 13, 1979
Hometown: Freeport, Ill.
Hired: Aug. 3, 2011
2009 B.S. in communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2011- Assistant coach, University of Illinois
2011 Volunteer assistant coach, University of Illinois
2010 Pitching coach, Schaumburg Flyers
2009 Volunteer assistant coach, University of Illinois
2008 Gary SouthShore Railcats, Northern League
2007 Schaumburg Flyers, Northern League
2005 Midland RockHounds, Texas League (AA)
2005 Stockton Ports, California League (advanced-A)
2004 Midland RockHounds, Texas League (AA)
2003 Kane County Cougars, Midwest League (low-A)
2002 Visalia Oaks, California League (advanced-A)
2002 Vancouver Canadians, Northwest League (short-season A)