|Hometown:||Yorba Linda, Calif.|
|High School:||Lakewood HS|
|Previous College:||Trinity University|
|Position:||Head Coach (9th Season)|
After two seasons at the helm of the Cal State Fullerton baseball program, head coach Rick Vanderhook quickly ingrained a hard-working philosophy, and he was rewarded with a five-year contract extension through the 2018 season on April 15, 2013. He signed a contract revision on Oct. 13, 2015 which extended his deal through the 2019 season and included an increase in base pay as well as an increased bonus structure for him and his coaching staff. It also included an automatic extension clause contingent on the Titans reaching the NCAA Super Regional round, which was accomplished last season as Fullerton advanced all the way to Omaha. The appearance marked the team’s 18th trip to the College World Series and the second over the last three seasons under Vanderhook.
The 2019 season was his 29th year as a Titan, and his eighth as the program’s skipper.
During the past eight years, Vanderhook has won four Big West Conference championships, garnered four Big West Coach of the Year awards and guided the Titans to seven straight NCAA postseason appearances. The Titans made their 18th appearance in the NCAA College World Series in 2017 after also leading Fullerton to Omaha in 2015, ending a five-year drought which was the longest in program history.
The individual success hasn’t hindered the team success, as Vanderhook’s head coaching record stands at 298-178 (.626) through the 2019 season.
The 2017 campaign proved to be one of the best coaching jobs of Vanderhook’s career, as he guided a an injury riddled Titan squad back to CWS with an overall record of 39-24, despite serious injuries to preseason All-American pitcher Colton Eastman and slugger Ruben Cardenas. Eastman suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out nearly four months, while Cardenas went through a lower back injury that eventually ended his season.
Fullerton advanced to the NCAA Postseason for the 26th straight season and recorded a 30-win season for the 43rd straight year.
The only thing better than seeing the Titans make the coveted trip to Omaha, was the fact that they were able to knock off long-time rival Long Beach State at Blair Field in the Super Regional round on the way there. The Titans claimed back-to-back wins over LBSU after dropping six of the first seven head-to-head contests vs. them during 2017.
In all, the skipper coached seven athletes to All-Big West honors, including five first teamers in Scott Hurst, Sahid Valenzuela, Brett Conine, Connor Seabold and Dillon Persinger. Valenzuela was also named the league’s Big West Freshman of the Year. Seabold was named to Collegiate Baseball’s All-American Second Team, while Conine was placed on the publication’s third team. He also was a finalist for the Gregg Olson Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top closer.
Vanderhook was able to do it again in 2018. After a slow 1-8 start to the season, the team rallied near the end of the season to once again win the Big West Title and secure its 27th straight trip to the NCAA Postseason. And once again, the Titans were sent to Palo Alto for the Stanford Regional and once again were the team to advance to the Super Regionals. The Titans then hosted Washington in the Super Regionals and were just one out away from another trip to the College World Series.
In 2016, Vanderhook earned his fourth Big West Conference Coach of the Year award in five seasons. He led the Titans to a 36-23 record during the season and a Big West Conference title, the 21st in the program’s history and his fourth in five years.
In 2015, Vanderhook was named the American Baseball Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year.
There have been 32 Titans selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in Vanderhook’s six seasons at Fullerton, including seven more in 2017. He has also coached 20 All-Americans and 11 Big West Conference Player of the Year honorees, including the Freshman of the Year in 2017 (Sahid Valenzuela), the Field Player of the Year (Dalton Blaser) and Freshman Pitcher of the Year (Colton Eastman) in 2016.
Vanderhook also led the Titans to a 51-10 record in 2013, the second best winning percentage (.836) in program history, trailing only the national championship squad from 1995 (57-9, .864). The 51 wins were also the fourth most in program history.
In six years, Vanderhook has led the Titans to four conference titles, three Super Regionals appearances and two College World Series appearances. He reached 100 head coaching victories on March 23, 2014 against Long Beach State at Goodwin Field, becoming the second fastest coach in Titans history to reach the mark, doing so in 139 games, four more than Titans legendary coach Augie Garrido.
On June 24, 2011, Vanderhook was announced as the program’s fifth Division I head coach. He will enter his 27th season with the Titan baseball program in 2018, as he’s surpassed Garrido as the longest-serving baseball coach in school history.
Prior to being named the head coach at Cal State Fullerton, in 24 seasons as a Division I assistant coach (21 at Fullerton), Vanderhook accumulated a total of 12 conference championships, 20 postseason appearances, eight Super Regionals appearances, 11 trips to the College World Series and two national championships.
Vanderhook spent the better part of a quarter century under head coaches Garrido, Larry Cochell and George Horton.
He began his coaching career as an assistant to Garrido from 1985-87, serving as the bullpen coach for the first two years before stepping into the third base coaching box and working with the hitters and defense in 1987. He remained on staff in 1988 under Cochell but then spent two seasons (1989-1990) as an assistant to former Fullerton assistant coach Bill Kernen at Cal State Northridge. Vanderhook returned to Cal State Fullerton with Garrido in 1991 and remained through the 2007 season.
Vanderhook then spent three seasons (2009-11) as an assistant coach to John Savage at UCLA, where he helped lead the Bruins to a conference title, a pair of postseason appearances and a runner-up finish at the 2010 College World Series.
A product of the prominent Cerritos College program where he played for Horton, Vanderhook originally came to the Titans in 1983 when he took a redshirt season. He was a member of the Titans’ 1984 national championship team, earning his first of three Cal State Fullerton championship rings.
Vanderhook prepped at Lakewood High School and received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Trinity University in 2003.
Vanderhook and his wife, April, reside in Yorba Linda, Calif., with their daughters, Noelle and Autumn, and their son, R.J.
NCAA REGIONAL APPEARANCES
Eugene • 2012
Fullerton • 2013
Stillwater • 2014
Fullerton • 2015
Starkville • 2016
Stanford • 2017
Stanford • 2018
NCAA SUPER REGIONAL APPEARANCES
Fullerton • 2013
Louisville • 2015
Long Beach • 2017
Fullerton • 2018
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES APPEARANCES
2012 Big West Conference Championship
2013 Big West Conference Championship
2013 Fullerton Regional Championship
2015 Big West Conference Championship
2015 Fullerton Regional Championship
2015 Louisville Super Regional Championship
2016 Big West Conference Championship
2017 Stanford Regional Championship
2017 Long Beach Super Regional Championship
2018 Stanford Regional Championship
2018 Fullerton Super Regional Championship
• 2012 Big West Conference Coach of the Year
• 2013 Big West Conference Coach of the Year
• 2015 Big West Conference Coach of the Year
• 2016 Big West Conference Coach of the Year
• 2018 Big West Conference Coach of the Year
VANDERHOOK BY THE NUMBERS
|1985||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||36-32-1||.529||21-9/1st||PCAA South|
|1986||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||36-21||.632||12-9/t-3rd|
|1987||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||44-17||.746||18-3/1st||PCAA|
|1988||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||43-18||.705||12-3/3rd||Regional|
|1990||CSUN||Asst. Coach||39-22||.639||21-9/t-1st||Regional, NCAA Runner-up|
|1991||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||34-22||.607||15-6/t-1st||co-Big West|
|1992||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||46-17||.730||17-7/2nd||Regional, NCAA Runner-up|
|1993||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||35-19||.648||16-/2nd||tri-Big West, Regional|
|1994||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||47-16||.763||15-5/t-1st|
|1995||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||57-9||.864||18-3/1st||Big West, Regional, NCAA|
|1996||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||45-16||.738||13-8/4th|
|1997||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||39-24-1||.617||21-9/2nd South||Big West|
|1998||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||47-17||.734||25-5/1st South||Big West South|
|1999||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||50-14||.781||25-5/1st||Big West, Regional, Super Regional|
|2000||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||38-21||.644||21-9/t-1st||co-Big West|
|2001||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||48-18||.727||14-4/1st||Big West, Regional, Super Regional|
|2002||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||37-22||.627||14-10/t-4th|
|2003||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||50-16||.758||15-6/2nd||Regional, Super Regional|
|2004||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||47-22||.681||19-2/1st||Big West, Regional, Super Regional, NCAA|
|2005||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||46-18||.719||16-5/1st||Big West, Regional|
|2006||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||50-15||.769||18-3/1st||Big West, Regional, Super Regional|
|2007||Cal State Fullerton||Asst. Coach||38-25||.603||10-11/5th||Regional, Super Regional|
|2010||UCLA||Asst. Coach||51-17||.750||18-9/2nd||Regional, Super Regional, NCAA Runner-up|
|2012||Cal State Fullerton||Head Coach||36-21||.632||17-7/1st||Big West|
|2013||Cal State Fullerton||Head Coach||51-10||.836||23-4/1st||Big West, Regional|
|2014||Cal State Fullerton||Head Coach||34-24||.586||14-10/4th|
|2015||Cal State Fullerton||Head Coach||39-25||.609||19-5/1st||Big West, Regional, Super Regional|
|2016||Cal State Fullerton||Head Coach||36-23||.610||17-7/1st||Big West|
|2017||Cal State Fullerton||Head Coach||39-24||.619||15-9/3rd||Regional, Super Regional|
|2018||Cal State Fullerton||Head Coach||36-25||.590||18-7/1st||Big West, Regional|
|2019||Cal State Fullerton||Head Coach||27-26||.509||13-11/4th|
|8 Years||Career as Head Coach||298-178||.626|
|26 Years||Career as Asst. Coach||1095-510-3||.682|
|24 Years||Div. I as Asst. Coach||1026-469-2||.685|
|2 Years||Div. II as Asst. Coach||69-41-1||.626|
|29 Years||Cal State Fullerton||1175-552-2||.680|
WHAT THEY SAID 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 Los Angeles Dodger third baseman Justin Turner