13-player recruiting class is ranked No. 1 in B1G, No. 40 nationally by Perfect Game
UI pitching coach excited to return to Iowa, reunite with Rick Heller
3 prep student-athletes, 2 junior college players sign on to be Hawkeyes
The Iowa Hawkeyes defeat the Golden Gophers 11-5
The Iowa Hawkeyes defeat the Kansas Jayhawks 5-3 in the first game of two game series.
The Hawkeyes defeat Nebraska 2-1 in their Big Ten home opener
March 1, 2014 Stetson Invitational Deland, Fla.
In three seasons in Iowa City, Brickman has helped guide the Hawkeyes to 101 wins, an NCAA Regional appearance and two Big Ten runner-up finishes -- in the regular season in 2015 and Big Ten Tournament in 2016. Iowa has had three All-Americans, three all-region, and 13 All-Big Ten selections. Eleven players have had their names called in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft -- the most in a three-year stretch for the program since 1991-93.
Brickman has transformed Iowa's pitching into one of the top staffs in the Big Ten on a year-in, year-out basis. Under his tutelage, the Hawkeyes have posted the top two team ERAs in school history and set the program record for single-season strikeouts. Iowa has finished in the top four in the Big Ten in ERA in each of the past two seasons.
On the recruiting trail, Brickman has helped Iowa become a player on the national recruiting scene. The Hawkeyes' 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes were ranked among the best in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa's 2015 class was tops in the league and 18th-best nationally, while the 2016 class was rated as the third-best in the conference.
In 2016, Iowa posted a 30-26 record, reaching the 30-win plateau for a third consecutive season for the first time since 1983-85. The Hawkeyes won their final two league series to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament for a third straight season and carried their momentum into Omaha, where they won their first three games to advance to the tournament title game for the first time since 2010.
Brickman's pitching staff posted a 3.54 team ERA -- the second-best ERA in program history -- and the Hawkeyes finished with a school-record 382 strikeouts in 56 contests. Sophomore Nick Gallagher won a team-high eight games, going 8-2 with a 2.57 ERA, to rank second in the Big Ten in wins and seventh in ERA. Senior Tyler Peyton surged down the stretch, going 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in four starts, which included a 26 1/3 scoreless innings streak. He finished his career with 16 wins and ranked in the top 10 all-time in innings pitched and strikeouts.
Peyton became the fifth Iowa pitcher drafted in the past three seasons when he was selected in the 29th round by the Chicago Cubs.
In 2015, Brickman helped lead Iowa to one of the top seasons in program history. The Hawkeyes went 41-18 and earned an at-large berth into NCAA Regionals -- the first berth since 1990. The 41 wins were the second-most in program history. Iowa, which won two games at the Springfield Regional for its first NCAA Tournament win since 1972, finished the season ranked 20th by Collegiate Baseball, 25th by Baseball America, and 28th by the NCBWA -- the program's first appearance in the final rankings in school history.
Brickman's work with the Iowa pitching staff fueled the team's success. The Hawkeyes finished with a 2.95 ERA to rank 16th in the nation and ranked 10th in hits allowed per nine innings (7.69). The 2.95 ERA shattered the program's school record of 3.63 set in 1971, and the team posted a school record 19 saves.
It was a remarkable turnaround for the Hawkeye pitching staff -- a unit that had a 4.34 ERA with virtually the same cast in 2014.
Under Brickman's watch, Blake Hickman developed from a thrower into a pitcher. The converted catcher earned Louisville Slugger third-team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten honors after going 9-2 -- the program's most wins since 2005 -- with a 2.99 ERA in his first full season as a starting pitcher. Hickman was a seventh round MLB selection by the Chicago White Sox -- the highest Iowa draftee since 1999.
Tyler Peyton garnered a pair of All-America distinctions by D1Baseball.com and NCBWA -- the first Hawkeye since 1990 to earn two All-America honors -- as a utility player, and he was a semifinalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. Peyton went 7-4 with a 3.03 ERA as Iowa's Friday night starter.
Iowa's third starter -- Calvin Mathews -- and top reliever -- Nick Hibbing -- garnered second-team All-Big Ten recognition. Mathews went 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA, while Hibbing had a career-year, going 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA with 47 strikeouts to five walks. Hibbing was the Springfield Regional's Most Outstanding Player.
Brickman got the most out of his staff as student-athletes improved nearly across the board. Luke Vandermaten went 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 22 appearances, walk-on Ryan Erickson was 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA, and Brandon Shulista had a career year, going 3-2 with a 3.67 ERA.
In his first season in Iowa City, Brickman helped guide the Hawkeyes to a 9-1 start -- the program's best start since 1940 -- a Big Ten Tournament berth and conference tournament win. Iowa finished the year with a 30-23 record for just the third 30-win season since 1993.
Brickman pieced together a mix-and-match pitching staff that was forced to battle through injuries throughout the season. Under Brickman's tutelage, Mathews became a front-of-the-line pitcher, posting a 3-3 record with a 2.72 ERA before going down with an injury, and walk-ons Jared Mandel (2-1, 2.70 ERA) and Tyler Radtke (2-2, 3.89 ERA, three saves) developed into major pieces in the Iowa bullpen.
Brickman also worked with Hickman in his transition from catcher to the mound. Hickman went 2-2 with a 3.93 ERA in his first year as a pitcher, and he was the starter in game two at the Big Ten Tournament -- a 2-1 Hawkeye victory.
Brickman joined the Iowa coaching staff in 2013 after serving four seasons as head coach at NCAA Division II Belmont Abbey, where he led the Crusaders to a 104-82 record, a 2012 Conference Carolinas Western Division Championship, and a pair of top-25 national rankings -- the first in school history. Brickman departed the school with the best winning percentage in the program's 22-year history.
In 2013, Brickman guided the Crusaders to a 27-17 record, and the squad earned a top-25 ranking during the regular season for the second time in program history. Five players garnered all-conference recognition, and pitcher Emilio Pagan was selected in the 10th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the program's highest draftee in its history.
Brickman led the Crusaders to the Conference Carolinas Western Division title in 2012 -- the third crown in school history and first in more than a decade. Brickman coached Pagan to ABCA/NWBCA All-America honors and two Crusaders earned all-conference and All-Southeast Regional honors. Steven Thiele was also tabbed as the Conference Male Academic Scholar Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season.
In his second season as head coach, Brickman led the Crusaders to an 11-win turnaround from his first season, winning 29 games and earning the first top-25 ranking in program history. Brickman coached six players to all-conference recognition and one All-Southeast Regional honoree. Three Crusaders also earned academic all-conference honors, and Thiele was the Conference's Male Academic Scholar Athlete of the Year.
From 2007-09, Brickman served as an assistant coach at Northern Iowa. In two seasons with the Panthers, five pitchers were drafted or signed by Major League Baseball organizations, accounting for 20 percent of the players drafted at UNI since 1962. During the 2008 season, Brickman helped guide the Panthers to 30 wins for just the fourth time in the school's 103-year history, while posting the fourth-best ERA (4.75) since the move to Division I in 1981.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Brickman spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Wofford College, where he coached two Freshman All-Americans and helped the Terriers win the 2007 Southern Conference Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth.
Brickman also served as head coach of the Florence Redwolves, a summer collegiate team in Florence, S.C., in 2004-05. The 2005 team advanced to the Coastal Plains League championship game and set the franchise record with 33 wins. Twelve of his players were drafted or signed by MLB teams, including 2006 first-round pick, Clemson University's Tyler Colvin.
From 2000-02, Brickman was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Muscatine Community College. During his tenure, he saw three pitchers and 15 total players earn all-region honors, and four players were selected in the MLB Draft. Brickman also was an assistant coach at Wartburg College in 1998-99, helping the Knights win the Iowa Conference and advance to the 1999 NCAA Tournament.
As a pitcher at Northern Iowa, Brickman led the Panthers to a second-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference in 1997, and he was a twice named Missouri Valley Pitcher of the Week.
The Denver, Iowa, native earned his bachelor's degree from Northern Iowa in 1998. He is married to the former Cassandra Mucks, and they reside in North Liberty, Iowa.