Former Illini pitcher hired on as pitching coach

Former Illini pitcher Drew Dickinson has been named the new pitching coach by manager Dan Hartleb, the team announced Wednesday. Dickinson had been serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the last year.

“I’m very excited. Being here, playing here and coaching here for the last couple years, I couldn’t ask for a better start to my coaching career,” Dickinson said. “It’s really tough to put into words how excited I am. I’m just ready to get started.”

Dickinson, a two-time All-American and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 2001 while at Illinois, played seven seasons in the minor leagues after being drafted by Oakland in 2002. Dickinson joined the Illini coaching staff as a volunteer assistant in 2009. He then served as pitching coach for the Schaumberg Flyers in 2010 before returning to Illinois this past season, again as a volunteer.