Rick Vanderhook spent three seasons (2009-11) as an assistant coach with the UCLA baseball program, finishing his 26th year as an assistant coach in 2011. Vanderhook, who began coaching at UCLA in July 2008, served as the Bruins' hitting and outfield coach and plays a central role in the program's recruiting efforts.
Vanderhook left UCLA to become Cal State Fullerton's head baseball coach on June 24, 2011.
In three seasons as UCLA's hitting coach, Vanderhook saw 12 Bruin hitters selected in the MLB Draft, including five position players in 2011.
Through his final two seasons at UCLA, Vanderhook helped propel the Bruins to their first outright Pac-10 Conference title since 1986 and first appearance at the College World Series since 1997. In 2011, UCLA posted an 18-9 Pac-10 record, winning two of its final three games at Arizona State on the last weekend of the regular season to secure an outright conference championship.
In 2010, Vanderhook helped energize the Bruins' offense as UCLA earned its third trip to the College World Series, the program's first berth since 1997. As an assistant coach, he made his 11th trip to the College World Series, his first appearance in Omaha, Neb., with the Bruins. UCLA finished its season with a .304 batting average, the program's highest mark since 2001. The Bruins registered a .397 on-base percentage and collected 417 RBI, the highest totals for any UCLA team since 2000.
Working with an influx of left-handed hitting freshmen, Vanderhook instilled a scrappy, hard-nosed attitude among UCLA's offense, a unit that did not rely on hitting home runs. Beau Amaral led the Bruins with a .354 batting average, 79 hits and 223 at-bats before earning Freshman All-America honors from Baseball America. In addition, Jeff Gelalich (.321), Cody Keefer (.318) and Cody Regis (.312) each hit over .300 from the left side of the plate in their freshmen campaigns. Tyler Rahmatulla batted .328 with seven homers and 45 RBI en route to securing All-Pac-10 Team honors.
In 2009, Vanderhook helped first baseman Cody Decker regain his power stroke, as he led the Pac-10 Conference with 21 home runs and finished third in slugging percentage (.683), fifth in runs scored (55) and sixth in runs batted in (53). Decker became the first UCLA player to lead the Pac-10 in home runs since 2000 and earned All-Pac-10 honors for the second season in his career.
Vanderhook arrived at UCLA after having spent 21 seasons as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton and two seasons (1989-90) serving in the same capacity at Cal State Northridge, then an NCAA Division II program.
As an assistant coach, Vanderhook helped lead Cal State Fullerton to two national championships (1995, 2004) and 10 trips to the College World Series. Additionally, he helped guide the Titans to six Super Regional triumphs, 16 Regional berths (13 since 1992) and 11 Big West Conference titles. As an assistant coach at Cal State Northridge, Vanderhook helped lead the Matadors to a 39-22 record and a NCAA Division II runner-up finish in 1990.
As a Division I assistant coach, Vanderhook compiled a 1026-469-2 record (24 seasons). Overall, he registered a 1095-510-3 mark and coached in five national championship games (26 seasons). While at Cal State Fullerton, Vanderhook helped the Titans' baseball program produce 125 major league draft picks, 52 All-America selections and 28 eventual major league players.
Vanderhook has coached nine first-round draft selections, five of which were offensive players. Likewise, he helped Cal State Fullerton produce six conference players of the year - Jeff Ferguson (1994), Mark Kotsay (1995, 1996), Spencer Oborn (1999), Shane Costa (2003) and Kurt Suzuki (2004). Additionally, Vanderhook has coached three National Player of the Year honorees - Phil Nevin (1992), Kotsay (1995) and Suzuki (2004).
Following his final season playing at Cal State Fullerton, Vanderhook began his Division I coaching career as an assistant in 1985 for head coach Augie Garrido. He served as the bullpen coach his first two seasons before stepping into the third-base coaching box and working with the hitters and defense in 1987.
As an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton, Vanderhook was responsible for some of the most explosive offenses in the program's history. The 1999 Titans, who made the school's 10th College World Series appearance, set school records 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. Vanderhook also helped fine tune the 2003 squad, which ranked 10th in the nation in hitting (.329), 20th in scoring (7.9 runs per game) and among the top 30 in doubles and triples per game.
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 Cal State Fullerton championship rings.
Vanderhook, 50, and his wife, April, reside in Yorba Linda, Calif., with their daughters, Noelle (14) and Autumn (12), and their son, R.J. (10).