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Author Page for Tommy Birch

Tommy Birch is a sports reporter who covers high school, college, and professional sports for the Des Moines Register. Tommy can be reached at tbirch@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @TommyBirch.

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Jake Yacinich signs with L.A. Angels

[ 0 ] June 10, 2014

From his dad, to his grandfather and to his cousin, and uncle, everyone in Jake Yacinich’s family seemed has been involved in baseball. The game is in his blood. Yacinich, a former infielder at Dowling Catholic who spent the last three seasons playing at Iowa, signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Tuesday. “I’ve […]

New coach Rick Heller quickly pumps life into Iowa baseball program

[ 0 ] April 4, 2014

IOWA CITY, Ia. — As Iowa athletic director Gary Barta peppered his baseball head-coaching candidate with questions during an interview, Rick Heller had one important inquiry of his own. Is the university committed to baseball? Barta’s commitment to the program’s future set the groundwork for Heller to come aboard, and now the surprising Hawkeyes are off […]

Kale Abrahamson will leave Northwestern, doesn’t rule out return to Iowa

[ 0 ] March 17, 2014

Kale Abrahamson says he doesn’t know where his college basketball career will end but he knows one place it won’t — Northwestern. The former West Des Moines Valley star said Monday that he’s transferring after two seasons with the Wildcats. “I kind of have a vision for where I want to go with basketball,” he […]

Jeff Horner surprised his Hawkeye tweets set off firestorm

[ 0 ] March 14, 2014

A day after hinting that he knew what was wrong with the Iowa men’s basketball team, former Hawkeyes star Jeff Horner declined to shed any light on the issues. Horner, an ex-Iowa guard and the current boys’ basketball coach at West Des Moines Valley, set off a firestorm of interest when he tweeted Thursday night […]

Former Hawkeye commit sticks with Louisville

[ 0 ] January 5, 2014

Football coach Charlie Strong’s plans to leave Louisville didn’t halt recruit Trevon Young’s anticipated arrival. The former Des Moines Lincoln and Iowa Western football player remained committed to the Louisville football program despite Strong filling the head coaching vacancy at Texas. “I just decided that it was my plan to come here first,” Young said […]

Brandon Wegher finds happiness in playing football again

[ 0 ] December 5, 2013

Nearly three years after walking away from football, Brandon Wegher went looking for another opportunity at the game he loved. Morningside College football coach Steve Ryan was maybe the one person willing to give it to him. Wegher, one of the heroes in Iowa’s 2010 Orange Bowl win, will be back in the big-game spotlight […]

Former Hawkeye baseball player writes book about historic night

[ 0 ] October 21, 2013

Playing all nine positions in a game put Iowan Justin Toole in a unique position — as an author. The Council Bluffs native, former Hawkeye player and current minor-leaguer has added “writer” to his resume after penning a book about the historic game two years ago. Toole’s book, titled “9 in 9: Nine Life Lessons […]

Hawkeyes hire Indiana State’s Rick Heller as new baseball coach

[ 0 ] July 12, 2013

Four years after leaving his home state, Rick Heller is coming back to Iowa. The Eldon native and former Northern Iowa baseball coach was named the University of Iowa’s 20th baseball coach Friday. “This is a great day for me and my family,” Heller said in a statement. “The opportunity to come back to the […]

Has Iowa hired a new baseball coach?

[ 0 ] June 28, 2013

A Friday morning report said that the Hawkeyes had concluded their search for a new baseball coach. The search, though, appears to continue on. Two different officials refuted a report that Saint Louis baseball coach Darin Hendrickson has been tabbed as the new coach of the Hawkeyes. “The reports aren’t true,” Saint Louis spokesperson Brian […]

Indianola offensive lineman commits to Iowa

[ 0 ] June 22, 2013

For weeks, Keegan Render, his parents and a select few friends and coaches knew about his plans for the future. This weekend, Render let everyone else in on the big secret. The Indianola senior-to-be lineman verbally committed to the University of Iowa football program on Saturday. “I’m relieved,” Render said. “Now I can just focus […]