June 27, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton Athletic Department introduced its newest head baseball coach, Rick Vanderhook, Monday morning at Goodwin Field in front of approximately 150 family members, friends, fans and alumni.
Vanderhook, an assistant to both Titan Head Coaches Augie Garrido and George Horton from 1985-2007, returns to Cal State Fullerton after a brief three-year stint as an assistant coach to UCLA's John Savage. This will be his 22nd season in a Titan uniform.
During his comments, Vanderhook announced his new coaching staff that will feature Mike Kirby, an assistant coach at Fullerton in 1991, 1995 and from 1997-99, and former Titan All-American and former major league pitcher, Kirk Saarloos, who will return from last year's staff to take over as the full-time pitching coach.
Kirby will be coming to Fullerton after three season's with Horton at the University of Oregon. Saarloos, an undergraduate assistant coach in 2011 with Dave Serrano's staff, moves into a paid position for 2012.
Photo Gallery of the Event
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT COACH VANDERHOOK
"Rick comes from a great baseball family and he has worked hard for this opportunity. He represents the essence of Titans baseball. He represents the spirit of the baseball program at Cal State Fullerton and I am very happy for him and his family."
-- University of Texas Head Coach Augie Garrido
"Cal State Fullerton baseball's administration has made a great selection in Rick Vanderhook as their new baseball coach. He is one of the top coaches in the country and has a very bright baseball mind. He is an exceptional coach, recruiter and mentor of players. He has been an ambassador at Fullerton and UCLA and the job he has done as an assistant coach at both universities has been exemplary. He has been an instrumental part of three decades of Titan baseball excellence and now gets the opportunity to sit in the head coach's chair. I'm sure Rick will continue the great heritage of Titan baseball into the future. I congratulate Rick and his family for an opportunity that they all deserve. I wish him well."
-- University of Oregon Head Coach George Horton
"Rick did an outstanding job for our program the last three years. I am very excited for him and his new opportunity, one that is well-deserved."
-- UCLA Head Coach John Savage
"Congratulations to Rick "Hooky" Vanderhook. It is a great day for Titan Baseball when a coach, friend and mentor for hundreds of players over the course of 20-plus years is hired to lead the Titan program. There is no doubt that Hooky represents what Titan Baseball is all about and will continue to teach these young players the hard work and traditions that makes TITAN BASEBALL what it is."
-- Former Titan catcher and U.S. Olympian Brian Loyd
"I am very excited about the decision the Cal State Fullerton administration has made to bring back Rick Vanderhook as its head coach. If anything is guaranteed from this hire it is that the Titans will be tough and competitive. Rick knows what it takes to be successful and he has instilled it in me and the hundreds of other players he has coached over the last 26 years."
-- Former Titan infielder and current New York Mets second baseman Justin Turner