Dillon, a former Baylor baseball player from 2003-2006 and a volunteer assistant coach during the 2012 season, is returning to Waco after spending the past six years as the operations manager for Twelve Baseball, a premier youth and high school-based program in Katy, Texas.
“I couldn’t be more excited to add that Zach Dillon to our employees,” said Thompson. “Zach really understands what it means to be a Baylor bear. His extensive resume and experience at all levels of the game will pay dividends in helping our players reach their maximum potential and helping our program win championships. Zach’s ability to spot talent in the field, coupled with his contacts across the country, will greatly benefit our program as we recruit. It’s always special when we can bring home a member of the Baylor family and continue to build on the foundation that Zach helped build.”
Since the 2016-17 calendar year, Dillon’s work with Twelve Baseball has been influential, particularly in the 2018-2025 recruiting classes. On a daily basis, he helped plan youth and high school practices and maintained a competitive culture and environment that maximized player development. Off the field, he prepared the club’s annual operating budget, oversaw program development and fundraising, managed scheduling and other organizational administration tasks. Dillon’s relationships with college coaches and next-level resources were instrumental in sending Twelve baseball players to college programs across the country.
“I’m honored to come home to our Baylor family,” said Dillon. “I’m really excited to be a part of the next chapter of Baylor Baseball alongside Coach Thompson. We will work tirelessly to attract talented players with winning DNA. Together we will build a team and championship culture on and off the field. I can’t wait to start recruiting, developing and mentoring our players to prepare champions for life!”
Previously, Dillon worked as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Thompson’s staff at McLennan Community College during the 2016 season. That year, the Highlanders went 45-12 and won the NTJCAC regular-season title. Under Dillon’s tutelage, MCC hitters combined a .342 batting average with 80 homers, 144 doubles and a 1.018 team OPS. Dillon played a role in sending 22 players to Division I schools and saw seven of his products selected in the MLB draft.
In 2015, Dillon served as a volunteer assistant coach and camps coordinator across the state of Mississippi. There he directly helped develop future SEC Player of the Year Brent Rooker, All-SEC picks Gavin Collins, Ryan Gridley and Jacob Robson, and 2016 first-round draft pick Dakota Hudson.
Before joining the MSU staff, Dillon spent the 2014 season as the director and head coach of the 18U Iowa Sticks, Iowa’s premier youth baseball club. He has also served as the director of Premier Baseball High School Spring League and PPC Showcase Camps.
Before his time in Waukee, Iowa, Dillon was an assistant coach at the University of Iowa. There he served as the Hawkeyes’ third base coach, hitting coach and recruiting coordinator, responsible for all areas of program development.
Dillon returned to Iowa City after helping out Baylor as a volunteer assistant in 2012. He helped the Bears reach the Waco Super Regional and finish 49-17 overall, a win behind a school record and a trip to Omaha for the College World Series. The Bears clinched the regular-season Big 12 title, ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history, and went into the postseason No. 4 overall seed.
Dillon coached a school record 11 All-Big 12 players that season, including six first-team selections, Big 12 Player of the Year Josh Ludy and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Nathan Orf. A conference-record four Bears earned Louisville Slugger All-America recognition while a total of six players were drafted into the 2012 MLB Draft.
Before coaching in Waco, Dillon worked as a volunteer assistant and camp coordinator in Iowa. In his first two seasons at Iowa City, Dillon was part of a coaching staff that led the Hawkeyes to 50 wins and six All-Big Ten honors. Off the field, the Hawkeyes earned 20 Academic All-Big Ten honors, including a school-record 12 in 2011.
As a player, Dillon played in college at Baylor from 2003 to 2006, where he was an integral part of three NCAA tournament rosters, two appearances in the NCAA Super Regionals and the 2005 College World Series. He was a two-time All-Big 12 pick, two-time ABCA All-Region pick, and was named to a pair of NCAA Tournament All-Regional teams. In 2006, Dillon was named Player of the Year by the Big 12 San Antonio Express News and was named a semi-finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, which recognizes the nation’s top catcher.
During his senior season at BU, Dillion hit .421 in Big 12 play with a stunning .496 on-base percentage. He led the league in average and walks, and finished in the top 20 nationally in walks per game. Dillon finished his career with a .307 average, 124 RBIs and 115 walks.
Away from the diamond, Dillon was a four-time academic all-conference selection, a first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and 10-time member of the Big 12 Conference Commissioner’s Roll of Honor. In 2009 he also received a spring postgraduate scholarship.
Dillon was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 20th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. In 2007, he drove the Frederic Keys (Class-A Advanced) to the Carolina League championship and a few months later received an invite to major league spring training.
Dillon graduated magna cum laude from Baylor in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He later earned his master’s degree in Education and Sport Management in 2009. Dillon has a son, Hayden.
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