Iowa extends baseball coach Rick Heller’s contract

After leading Iowa to its most successful four-year stretch in program history, Rick Heller earned a contract extension through 2024.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

Iowa's Robert Neustrom fist bumps head coach Rick Heller during the Iowa-Rutgers baseball game at Duane Banks Field on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The Hawkeyes fell to the Scarlet Knights in the second game of the series, 5-3. (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller will wear Black and Gold for a while.

The coach signed off on a contract extension on Thursday, extending him through the 2024 season.

“I am proud to be part of such an outstanding, team-oriented Athletics Department and university,” Heller said in a release. “With the fantastic leadership of Gary Barta and President [Bruce] Harreld, our baseball program has grown significantly in the last five years, and we look forward to working together to keep it moving forward.”

Heller led Iowa to its best four-year stretch in program history.

During that time, the Hawkeyes won 140 games, made the NCAA regionals, and claimed the school’s first-ever Big Ten Championship.

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“The progress this program has made in four seasons under Rick has been incredible,” said Barta in a release. “Rick has changed the culture from Day 1 with the win, graduate, and do it right principles at the forefront. We’re excited to be able to reward Rick with this contract extension to keep him in Iowa City for the foreseeable future.”

Under Heller’s leadership, the Hawkeyes made the postseason in four-straight years, a first for the program.

Last season, Iowa went on a run for the ages in the conference tournament in Bloomington, Indiana.

The Hawkeyes toppled Maryland, one of the hotter teams in the Big Ten, 9-8, in the opening round, before taking down No. 21 Nebraska.

The Hawkeyes went on to lose to Minnesota on May 27, but because of the double-elimination rules, they played the Gophers only a few hours later, taking the win and advancing to the championship game.

Iowa throttled Northwestern, 13-4, to win the title.

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“You can feel the excitement and buzz surrounding the program throughout the state,” Barta said in a release. “We are excited to continue building on that and are looking forward to the 2018 baseball season.”

Iowa will open the season in Kissimmee, Florida, for the Diamond 9 Sunshine State Classic Series, playing Toledo on Feb. 16.

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