March 2014

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31 Magrane returned to his home in Iowa City follow- ing the season and was involved in private instruc- tion and coaching clinics. UI head coach Rick Heller was hired in July and filled his initial staff, but at the beginning of February, there was a shakeup when volunteer assistant Greg Byron was offered a position in scouting/player development with Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals. e rest is history. "e thing about baseball is you never know," said Magrane. "Greg didn't expect that to happen either. I was six blocks away at my home doing stuff around the house when coach Heller called me, and I had the time on my hands to come in and get started. "It all worked out, but it's not a call I expected." Joining the coaching staff two weeks out from the season-opener was a challenge, but Magrane has hit the ground running. "I have been learning the system coach Heller and his staff are putting in and I am liking what they're doing," said Magrane. "I'm finding spots here and there to enhance what the guys are already doing." Magrane is grateful for the opportunity to get started in coaching at the collegiate level, and says it makes it more special being at a place like the UI. "ere are several factors that make this the per- fect fit," said Magrane. "I came to school here, am a Hawkeye guy, and add in the fact that I live in Iowa City, I would have come to games as a fan and sup- ported the staff and players anyway." Magrane pitched for the Hawkeyes from 1996- 99, and he still holds the school-record in innings pitched (107 2/3), single-season strikeouts (110) and strikeouts in a game (17). 'Hawkeye Guy' Joins Baseball Staff By James Allan J im Magrane jumped at the opportunity when he got the call to join the University of Iowa baseball program as a volunteer assistant coach. Magrane's life has revolved around the game. He grew up in Ottumwa, Iowa, played baseball for the Hawkeyes from 1996-99, and spent the last 13 seasons competing in professional baseball all over the world. When his playing career came to an end, Magrane knew he wanted to stay in the game. "Every year could have been my last year for the last 5-6 years, so I had thoughts about doing some different things," he said. "I didn't have anything concrete that I wanted to do, but staying involved was something I was interested in doing, so this was a good fit." Magrane's 13-year professional career included stints with the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals organizations. He also played in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, China, Korea, and his final season came in Italy last season. During his first season in independent ball in 2008, Magrane heard about Italian baseball and thought it would be a great place to finish his ca- reer. "When I exhausted my opportunities in Asia and went to Italy, I figured that would be my last sea- son," said Magrane. "When (the catcher signaled for a) fast ball before the last pitch I ever threw in a professional game, I had to step off (the rubber). I felt like I was going to strike the guy out, and I said to myself, 'is is probably going to be it.' "I stepped off again and thought 'at's a big thought to have before you throw a pitch, so let's focus on making the pitch first.' I ended up punch- ing him out, and that was it."

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