Iowa announced Thursday that it will not renew Jack Dahm’s contract, ending his 10-year tenure as the Hawkeyes’ head coach.
“Jack has been a first-class ambassador for the University of Iowa the past 10 years,” Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta said in a release. “I’m grateful for the mentorship and leadership he showed his student-athletes every day.”
Iowa went 22-27 overall this year, finishing eighth in the Big Ten at 10-14. He led the Hawkeyes to a 235-302 mark overall (.438), posting just two winning seasons in 10 years—they went 31-23 in 2007, and 30-28 in 2010.
Iowa isn’t an easy place to win; it has been to just three regionals in its history, the last coming in 1990. Its baseball facilities rank near the bottom of the Big Ten, and the state does not sponsor high school baseball, depleting the in-state talent base. The state does produce players, however, and the Hawkeyes can draw from nearby Nebraska and Illinois.
The Hawkeyes could target Indiana State coach Rick Heller, who coached at Northern Iowa before that program folded. Dallas Baptist coach Dan Heefner is an Iowa native who played and coached at Northern Iowa, and also served as an assistant at Creighton, right across the Missouri River from Iowa. Like Heller, Heefner would be an excellent hire, but he leaving DBU (which just opened a sparkling new ballpark and has proven it can get to regionals) for Iowa might be a step down.
The state also features a pair of very successful junior-college programs, and Iowa should give Western Iowa CC coach Marc Rardin and Des Moines Area CC coach Kyle Hanna strong consideration.