Hey there, baseball. How's it going? It's almost July, which means it's just you and us when it comes to primetime sports for the next few months. We can do this, right? Right? I hope so.
Iowa is still on the hunt for a new baseball coach to replace Jack Dahm, although they might be getting closer to finding their man. In fact, earlier today we thought they had hired a new baseball coach:
Then it seemed like that was a false alarm:
The original source (College Baseball Daily) briefly pulled back on the story:
But then decided to double down on their original position:
Our site isn't in the business of "hugging" coaches or being all nice to everyone. This is a business and we have a job to do.— CB Daily (@CB_Daily) June 28, 2013
College baseball reporting is cutthroat, yo.
Friend of the Pants Scott Dochterman investigated the matter this morning and reported that Steve Roe, a member of the Iowa baseball selection committee, indicated that interviews were still ongoing and no coach had been selected yet. Still, whether or not Hendrickson is officially Iowa's next baseball coach or not, he's definitely a candidate for the position -- and his name didn't come up in our update a few weeks ago. So what do we know about him?
First of all, he has googly eyes.
More importantly, though, Hendrickson has a pretty impressive resume. He won 41 games (a school record) at Saint Louis in 2012 and 2013, which helped earn the Billikens a pair of regular season Atlantic 10 championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently as a #4 seed in the Columbus regional in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. He's also sent several players to MLB over the past few years and has a career record of 688-233.
He doesn't have any direct Iowa ties, but he's a native midwesterner, having grown up in Granite City, Illinois, attended SIU-Edwardsville and coached at Fontbonne University (in St. Louis), St. Louis Community College Forest Park, and Central Missouri. His most recent stop, Saint Louis, is an Atlantic 10 school, but I'm not sure that suggest the transition to the Big Ten would be especially difficult -- I'm not even sure that the Big 10 is a tougher baseball conference than the Atlantic 10, frankly. On paper, Hendrickson looks like he would be a very solid hire for Iowa if he is indeed the next hire.
As far as the other names mentioned by Rogers, Ed Servais is the current head coach at Creighton -- and the successor there to Jack Dahm, the former head coach at Iowa. Oh, what a tangled web we weave... Servais has done a good job at Creighton -- perhaps even better than what Dahm did there. He has a 327-195 record at Creighton, a tally which includes regular season titles in 2005 and 2001 and conference tournament crowns in 2007, 2011, and 2012. Creighton has also made the NCAA Tournament four times under Servais - in 2005, 2007, 2011, and 2012.
Andy Sawyers is the associate head coach at Texas A&M, where he coordinates the offense and also works with the catchers. Aggie hitters led the conference in hits and doubles and recorded a .290 batting average in 2012, when A&M won the Big XII and went to the NCAA Tournament. Before heading to Texas A&M, Sawyers directed the offense at Kansas State, which produced record offensive numbers during his tenure. Sawyers was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Nebraska prior to working at Kansas State. Those stints at Kansas State and Nebraska are the bulk of his ties to the midwest (he's originally from California and began his collegiate playing career out there), although he's also coached at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas and finished his collegiate playing career at Nebraska.
It sounds like Iowa is close to naming their new baseball coach -- it might be Hendrickson, or it might be one of the other names profiled here or in our previous update. Either way, I would not be surprised to see some official confirmation from the UI Athletic Department sometime next week.