September 2013

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where they are at. At Northern Iowa and Upper Iowa, we were getting kids that were good athletes and were raw as a baseball player, and then doing a good job of developing kids into really good baseball players. I've got experience doing that, and we will take advantage of that as far as finding the best athletes and making sure we get them to stay here. We also need to take advantage of the junior college baseball system in the state of Iowa with baseball only having 11.7 scholarships. There are so many junior college programs in the state and you can take advantage of that because (the student-athletes) have a chance to go and develop. Maybe they weren't quite ready out of high school, but in two years they have grown, gotten stronger and developed. You can get a kid that is not only a good player, but is a good student out of that system. We have to take advantage of all those things, and if we do, then I feel we can win with Iowa kids." Q: What makes Iowa such a destination job for you? Heller: "Growing up in the state, I was at Lute Olson's basketball camps growing up. I was a Hawkeye fan as a kid and then I worked my way up the system from high school to small college to Division I and now to Iowa, a BCS school in the Big Ten Conference. For an Iowa boy, that is a pretty good dream and something I have worked at for a long time in hopes of having this opportunity. The fact the program has been down a little while, and to be the guy chosen to come in and try to help it is pretty special. It means a lot to me, and it will be taken seriously. Being an Iowa kid that has a chance to coach this team is a big deal." Rick Heller threw out the ceremonial first pitch during the Cedar Rapids Kernels game Aug. 16. 58

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