UCLA has hired former Cal State Fullerton assistant Rick Vanderhook to replace Brian Green as assistant coach. Green left for Gary Henderson’s staff at Kentucky on June 18, and since then Vanderhook had been rumored as a potential replacement. Bruins head coach John Savage confirmed Monday evening that the Bruins have hired Vanderhook, who spent 21 years at rival Fullerton. He brings toughness, experience and a keen baseball mind to Westwood, where he will serve as the hitting and outfield coach.
Vanderhook was the odd man out on the coaching carousel last summer. After Fullerton head coach George Horton left for Oregon, Vanderhook chose not to join his staff in order to vie for the Titans’ head job; everyone from Horton to Dave Serrano lobbied on his behalf and assumed he was the heir apparent. But when Fullerton made it clear Vanderhook was no longer a candidate, Serrano left UC Irvine to return to his alma mater at Fullerton, leaving Vanderhook without a spot on the staffs at Oregon or Fullerton.
The 47-year-old Vanderhook has won three national titles at CSF–one as a player (in 1984) and two more as an assistant (in 1995 and 2004). He should be a perfect fit at UCLA, a program that is trying to get where Vanderhook has been 10 times–Omaha.
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