March 9, 2012
WACO, Texas -
Baylor baseball head coach Steve Smith
announced Friday that former All-Big 12 catcher Zach Dillon
has returned to Baylor as the Bears' volunteer assistant coach.
"I am really pleased and excited to have Zach on our staff," Smith said. "He was an extremely gifted player, both physically and mentally, and he will be a very outstanding young coach."
Dillon will run Baylor's summer camps and will continue to run the Baylor Baseball Academy. His first game in uniform will be Saturday when the Bears take on Memphis at 3:05 p.m. in the opener of a three-game series.
An Urbandale, Iowa, native, Dillon was a four-year letterwinner at Baylor and the 2006 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. He was a 20th-round selection of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2006 MLB Draft. Dillon spent four seasons playing professional baseball, advancing as far as Double-A, and he was invited to Major League spring training in 2008.
Dillon spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as volunteer assistant coach at Iowa, where he worked with catchers, assisted with hitters and served as camp coordinator. He helped the Hawkeyes to within one game of the 2010 NCAA Tournament and their best conference finish since 2005.
Dillon broke a school record when he hit .421 in Big 12 Conference play on his way to earning 2006 league Player of the Year honors from the San Antonio Express-News. His .360 career batting average in Big 12 play is the second-highest ever at Baylor. He also helped the Bears to the 2005 Big 12 Conference Championship and College World Series.
As a senior in 2006, Dillon was unanimously named first-team All-Big 12, earned first-team Academic All-America honors and was a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist. He earned recognition on the Big 12 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll in all 10 semesters during his Baylor career and is the only Baylor player ever to earn four first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors.
Dillon joins a staff that features Smith, who is in his 18th year leading the Baylor program, 17th-year assistant coach Steve Johnigan and fourth-year assistant coach Trevor Mote.