- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
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Cal State Fullerton named Rick Vanderhook baseball coach on Friday, filling the void left by Dave Serrano's departure to Tennessee last week. Vanderhook, who played at Fullerton and spent more than two decades as an assistant coach there, becomes the fifth coach in the school's illustrious history.
Vanderhook, 50, had spent the previous three years as UCLA's hitting and outfield coach, helping the Bruins reach the College World Series championship round in 2010. He will be introduced in a news conference Monday morning at Goodwin Field.
"It is an honor to be back as head baseball coach at Cal State Fullerton," Vanderhook said in a statement.
Vanderhook has registered a 1026-465-2 (.688) career record as a Division I assistant over 24 seasons. He played on the Titans' 1984 national championship team and won two more titles as an assistant.
"I have never met anyone with more passion for Titan baseball than Rick," Cal State Fullerton athletic director Brian Quinn said, "and I couldn't be happier to bring him home where he belongs. 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."
Vanderhook, who was awarded a three-year contract through the 2014 season, was credited with transforming UCLA into a grittier, hard-nosed program during his stint. Under Vanderhook, the Bruins made their first trip to Omaha for the College World Series since 1997.
"Rick did an outstanding job for our program the last three years," UCLA head coach John Savage said in a statement. "I am very excited for him and his new opportunity, one that is well-deserved."
The Titans failed to make it out of the Fullerton Regional this season and have not played in Omaha since 2009.
Serrano went 175-73 (.706) in four seasons at Fullerton before returning to Tennessee, the site of his first Division I coaching job.