Illini Replay: Dan Hartleb

Dan Hartleb and RichardJones Dan Hartleb (left) Richard “Itch” Jones (center), 1999. (Image courtesy of UI Athletics)

In 1999, Dan Hartleb (left) was in his ninth season as pitching coach for Head Baseball Coach Richard “Itch” Jones (center) and the Illini. Two decades later, Hartleb is entering his 15th season as Illinois’ head coach and 30th season overall with Fighting Illini baseball. Before the 2020 season got underway, Hartleb was honored by as the Big Ten Coach of the Decade. He led Illinois to four NCAA regional appearances from 2010-19, the most by any Big Ten coach, a 2015 NCAA super regional appearance, a pair of Big Ten titles and a long list of accolades earned by his players. Hartleb says he was “shocked” and humbled by the honor and quickly gave credit to Illini players, assistant coaches and support staff. Don’t expect Hartleb to rest. “The next decade needs to be better,” Hartleb says, citing getting Illinois to the College World Series in Omaha.