CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illini baseball is the oldest sport at the University of Illinois, with records going back to 1879. On Saturday afternoon, head coach Dan Hartleb has the chance to do something only seen once before in program history: 500 career wins.

Hartleb is in his 17th season at Illinois, and has been in charge of one of the best eras of Illinois baseball. The head coach has won 61 percent of his games over the last nine seasons. Hartleb says 499 wins has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with his players and staff.

“I’ve been really fortunate to be at one place for a long time,” Hartleb said. “I’ve had a lot of great players. I haven’t won any games, the players go out and they play hard and they find ways to win. I’ve had a great group of assistants over the years and we’ve had great support from the university and so by winning those number games, I think it means you have great support, great people around you.”

Illinois is getting over a rocky start to the 2022 season, and has recently clicked for third place in the Big Ten with a 12-6 conference record.

Here are the leaders for career wins as Illinois head coach:

  • 1) Lee Eilbracht (518 wins)
  • 2) Dan Hartleb (499 wins)
  • 3) Itch Jones (474 wins)