IOWA CITY, Iowa - It was a busy 90-minute podcast on Wednesday as Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller and former Iowa football player Colin Cole and his wife, Kaye, were our guests.
Heller addressed the rumor that he is a candidate for the Kansas State job, saying he is committed to Iowa and focused solely on lifting the program to a higher level.
It made sense that Heller's name would be connected to the Kansas State job due to his success at Iowa, which includes five consecutive 30-win seasons, and because of his relationship with Kansas State Athletic Director Gene Taylor.
Heller used to report to Taylor when Taylor was Iowa's Associate Athletic Director. Heller spoke highly of Taylor during the interview, but denied any rumors or speculation that he might be interested in the Kansas State job.
Heller also addressed the upcoming amateur baseball draft in June and talked about the players from his team that he thinks might declare for the draft. He said Wednesday that junior outfielder Robert Neustrom and junior pitchers Nick Allgeyer and Brady Schanuel all could leave early for the draft.
Heller also thinks that All-Big Ten catcher Tyler Cropley could be selected in the first six or seven rounds of the draft.
Iowa lost both of its games in the Big Ten Tournament, but Heller still considers the season to be a success. The Hawkeyes finished 33-20 overall and qualified for the Big Ten Tournament for the fifth consecutive season.
As for Colin and Kaye Cole, they're trying to raise a total of $150,000 to help 60 eligible families with medical copay assistance for a year so they can focus on their cancer treatments. Kaye said she became inspired to help after touring the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital this fall, saying she was "awe-struck" by the experience.
Colin and Kaye have had a variety of fundraising projects this spring. One involves their alma mater. It’s the selling of black T-shirts with gold lettering and the message “Cancer messed with the wrong Hawkeye.”
The deadline for ordering a T-shirt is May 30th (today), although, Kaye said additional orders would be taken after midnight.
People can buy the shirts at detourtowonderland.com. All proceeds go to LLS, a nonprofit dedicated to funding research to curing blood cancers.