June 30, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Rick Vanderhook, who served as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton for 21 seasons, has been named assistant baseball coach at UCLA, according to an announcement made by head coach John Savage. Vanderhook will serve as the Bruins' hitting and outfield coach.
At Cal State Fullerton, Vanderhook helped lead the Titans to two national championships (1995, 2004). He coached the Titans to 10 College World Series appearances, six Super Regional triumphs, 16 Regional berths (13 since 1992) and 11 Big West Conference titles. Vanderhook also spent two years (1989-1990) as an assistant coach at Cal State Northridge, guiding the Matadors to a 39-22 record and NCAA Division II runner-up finish in 1990. After playing his final season at Cal State Fullerton, Vanderhook began his Division I coaching career with the Titans in 1985.
"Rick has been one of the top coaches for a very long time in college baseball," Savage said. "His knowledge, experience and passion will be a great addition to Bruin baseball. Rick has developed many players that were not only great college players but were also successful in professional baseball. Rick has been a part of many winning teams. We are very excited about Rick being in Westwood."
As a Division I assistant coach, Vanderhook has compiled a 913-399-2 (.696) record. Serving as Cal State Fullerton's hitting coach, Vanderhook helped the Titans produce 125 major league draft picks. He coached nine first-round selections, including Mike Harkey (1987), Phil Nevin (1992), Dante Powell (1994), Mark Kotsay (1996) and Ricky Romero (2005) and supplemental pick Aaron Rowand (1998). Additionally, he coached six conference players of the year and three National Player of the Year honorees (Nevin, 1992; Kotsay, 1995; Kurt Suzuki, 2004).
Under his tutelage at Cal State Fullerton, Vanderhook coached 52 All-America selections (27 on offense) and 28 eventual major leaguers. As the Titans' recruiting coordinator from 1991-1996, Vanderhook brought in 17 eventual All-America selections to Cal State Fullerton's program. Since 1991, Vanderhook's offenses posted a batting average above .300 each spring and an on-base percentage higher than .400 in all but one season.
Vanderhook was responsible for some of the most explosive offenses in Cal State Fullerton's history. The 1999 Titans established program benchmarks for single-season batting average (.338) and runs per game (9.2). Fullerton's 1998 squad set school records with 93 home runs, 28 triples and 167 doubles.
A product of the prominent Cerritos College program, where he played for head coach George Horton, Vanderhook originally came to Cal State Fullerton in 1983 and redshirted his first season. He was a member of the Titans' 1984 national championship team, earning his first of three Titan championship rings.
Vanderhook, 47, and his wife, April, reside in Yorba Linda, Calif., with their daughters, Noelle (12) and Autumn (10), and their son, R.J. (8).