Drew Dickinson is in his second season as pitching coach on Brian O’Connor’s staff and comes to Charlottesville after eight years as the pitching coach at Illinois.
Despite a shortened season in 2020, the Cavalier pitching staff already was making great strides under Dickinson’s leadership. Weekend starters Griff McGarry and Mike Vasil ranked both in the top 15 in the ACC in ERA and closer Stephen Schoch was tied for second in the league (8th in the NCAA) with five saves. As a staff, Virginia accumulated 199 strikeouts, tied for the 10th most in the NCAA.
Dickinson helped the Illinois pitching staff to an unprecedented amount of success during his tenure. Under his guidance, the Illini established new school single-season records for ERA and strikeouts. Dickinson has coached two Big Ten Pitchers of the Year, 15 MLB Draft picks (including two first rounders) and four-All-Americans. The success on the mound helped Illinois win 60.3 percent of its games over the last six years (202-133-1), one of the Illini’s best runs ever.
Illinois has developed a postseason pedigree over the past nine seasons, qualifying for four NCAA Tournaments and the 2015 NCAA Super Regionals. The Illini were crowned Big 10 Champions in 2015 after posting a 50-10 overall record with a 20-1 mark in league play. In that season, Dickinson’s pitching staff led the way with nation’s fifth-lowest team ERA (2.55), fourth-lowest WHIP (1.13) and fifth-lowest strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Following a seven-year professional career, Dickinson began his coaching career as volunteer assistant on the Illini staff while finishing his communications degree at Illinois in 2009. After a brief stint as a pitching coach in professional baseball, he returned as the Illinois volunteer assistant before being promoted to assistant coach in 2012.
One of the best pitchers in Illinois history, Dickinson was selected in the 28th round by the Oakland Athletics in the 2002 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He was a two-time, Third-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball (2001 & 2002) and named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year as a junior. His 30 career wins are the most ever at Illinois and Dickinson ranks in the top-five in school history in career-conference wins (2nd), career strikeouts (3rd), single-season strikeouts (3rd & 5th) and career innings pitched (5th).
Dickinson was a two-time All-Big Ten first-team selection and reached the double-A level with the Oakland A’s. He was a 2003 Midwest League all-star and was named a Top 25 Prospect in the A’s system in 2004.
Dickinson married his wife Michelle in 2015.