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Rick Vanderhook hired as Cal State Fullerton baseball coach

June 24, 2011 |  6:32 pm

Fullerton1 It's official: Cal State Fullerton has hired Rick Vanderhook as its head baseball coach.

Vanderhook, 50, received a three-year contract. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed. He has been UCLA's hitting and outfield coach the past three seasons, but he is a former Fullerton player and longtime assistant. 

"It is an honor to be back as the head baseball coach at Cal State Fullerton," Vanderhook said in a statement released by the school. 

The Times reported earlier today that Vanderhook was the choice of Athletic Director Brian Quinn, who met with university President Milton A. Gordon this afternoon before making the hire official. 

"I have never met anyone with more passion for Titan baseball than Rick, and I couldn’t be happier to bring him home where he belongs," Quinn said in the school's news release.


"I have complete confidence in his ability to recruit, teach and motivate our student-athletes to compete at the highest level. He is deeply committed to the academic success of his players. I am very excited to have 'Hook' return to Cal State Fullerton."

This is the second time Quinn has turned to a former George Horton assistant since Horton left the Titans in September 2007 for the University of Oregon.

Quinn hired Dave Serrano away from UC Irvine to replace Horton, choosing the former Titans pitching coach over Vanderhook.

Vanderhook emerged as the choice this time after Fullerton interviewed him and two other former Titans on Thursday.

Also interviewed were Jason Gill, a former player and coach who is the head coach at Loyola Marymount, and long-ago former Titans assistant Don Sneddon, who as Santa Ana College's head coach recently became the winningest coach in state community college history.

Bill Kernen, another former Fullerton assistant who now leads Cal State Bakersfield's upstart program, was a finalist but removed himself from consideration.

Vanderhook has won more than 900 games as a college assistant, and he has earned three national championship rings while at Fullerton -- in 1984 as a player and 1995 and 2004 as a coach.

-- Mike Hiserman