Iowa baseball: A 'rich history and tradition?'

Program was blah long before Jack Dahm took over

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The University of Iowa fired head baseball coach Jack Dahm Thursday, and submitted a five-paragraph press release in announcing the move:

We aren't supposed to reprint press releases here, and it's just as well, because the only paragraph that said anything other than the first one containing the news was the final one. It said:

“Hawkeye baseball has a rich history and tradition,” said (UI Athletic Director Gary) Barta. “We will look for someone who has demonstrated success competitively and academically, and someone who fits the culture at the University of Iowa.”

Really? Well, let's look at the last 25 seasons of Hawkeye baseball, only 40 percent of which were under Dahm's leadership:

NCAA tournament appearances: 1 (1990)

First-place finishes in the Big Ten: 1 (1990)

First-division finishes in the Big Ten: 7

Winning records in the Big Ten: 5

Finishes of 9th or 10th-place (It was an 10-team league for baseball until Nebraska joined two seasons ago): 10

Iowa did go to the College World Series in 1972. That was the last time it won a game in that tournament.

Now if Barta was referring to that glorious '72 season, uh, OK. It was 41 years ago. Or maybe he was referring to 1938 to 1942, when the Hawkeyes won three Big Ten titles under Otto Vogel.

But overall, a rich history and tradition? No. No, no, no. Everything in this world that is old isn't necessarily great, or storied, or packed with tradition. What's the point of pretending otherwise?

Now you people (especially you baseball people) tell me: What would it take to transform Hawkeye baseball into something we actually talk about other than when coaches get hired or fired? Is it a facilities upgrade necessary, or even possible?

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