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Head Baseball Coach
A member of Pepperdine's 1992 national championship team and an assistant coach for the Waves the past four seasons, Steve Rodriguez, 32, became the University's 16th head baseball coach when he was named to the position on June 18, 2002. Rodriguez, who earned All-American honors in 1991 and 1992, becomes only the third former Pepperdine player to assume the head coaching duties for the Waves in the program's 64-year history. Gary Marks became the first former Pepperdine player to pilot the program when he skippered the program from 1963-67.
Rodriguez, a fifth-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1992, was named WCC "Player of the Year" in 1992 as the Waves posted a 48 - 11 mark and captured the College World Series (CWS) title. Rodriguez was named to the All - CWS team and was part of two memorable plays in Omaha - a grand slam that helped defeat Texas in the semifinal round and a late-inning defensive gem in the Waves' 3-2 win over local rival Cal State Fullerton in the championship game.A first-team All-West Coast Conference (WCC) selection in 1991 and 1992, Rodriguez made a big splash as a sophomore in 1991 when he batted .419, the second highest single-season average in school history. His 104 base hits that season are a Pepperdine single-season record. He currently ranks in the Top 10 in five different single-season categories. This past fall, Rodriguez was named one of the WCC's Top 50 athletes of all-time that was announced by the conference office.
Rodriguez returned to Pepperdine to earn his Master's Degree in Educational Technology in 2003.
Assistant Baseball Coach
Tabbed the West Coast Conference's (WCC) "Player of the Year" in 1989, Hirtensteiner was an eighth round draft pick by the California Angels. Hirtensteiner played professional baseball for seven seasons with the California Angels, Florida Marlins and Montreal Expos organizations, reaching the AAA level with Montreal. Hirtensteiner also played in the Northern League with the St. Paul Saints, the Salt Lake City Trappers of the Pioneer League plus stints in Australia and Mexico.
A three-time All-WCC pick, Hirtensteiner ranks No. 11 on Pepperdine's all-time hitting chart with a .337 career batting average. Hirtensteiner is the Waves' all-time career leader in runs scored (228) and triples (17), and ranks No. 2 in base hits (295), RBI (175) and at-bats (876). As a senior in 1989, Hirtensteiner led the Waves with a .366 batting average and clubbed a team-best 12 home runs as a leadoff hitter. Hirtensteiner tied a single-game school record by slugging three home runs in a game at UC Santa Barbara. Additionally, Hirtensteiner emerged as the Waves' closer, oftentimes tossing warm-up pitches in the outfield during conferences on the mound.
Hirtensteiner earned Academic All-American honors in 1989 after earning a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Hirtensteiner was also recognized as the WCC's "Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year," becoming just the second Pepperdine athlete to earn the prestigious Pat Malley Award.
Assistant Baseball Coach
Strauss, who played for the Dirtbags during the team's College World Series run in 1993 and in 1994, was on Coach Dave Snow's staff from 1995 to 2000 and then again as the volunteer coach in 2006. During his time at LBSU as a coach, the Dirtbags have gone 288-198, won three Big West titles, advanced to six NCAA Regionals and finished third at the 1998 College World Series behind one of the top hitting teams in school-history.
The Spartans were 34-26 in 2007 as the recruiting class for 2008 was rated amongst Collegiate Baseball's annual rankings. Strauss served as the the pitching and recruiting coordinator at Loyola Marymount for three seasons (2003-05) where 11 pitchers signed pro contracts. The Lions twice won the Divisional Championship (2004-05) and reached the WCC three-game Championship Series in each of those seasons.
After leaving LBSU in 2000, he was the head coach at Glendale Community College, where he went 66-25 with a pair of league titles under his belt in 2001 and 2002. He was also twice named the Western State Conference Coach of the Year.
Assistant Baseball Coach
Former Texas Tech catcher Cooper Fouts is in his first year as a volunteer assistant baseball coach at Pepperdine. Fouts comes to Malibu after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach at the College of Southern Nevada; where he worked with 2010 Golden Spikes Award winner and No. 1 overall draft pick Bryce Harper.
Fouts won't accept credit for developing Harper but is proud of the fact that nine CSN pitchers were taken during the June 2010 draft and 14 more student-athletes were signed-out to NCAA Division I programs over the past year. Among the Coyotes drafted were third-rounder Donn Roach, eighth-rounder Kenny McDowall, and Aaron Kurcz - a 10th round selection by the Chicago Cubs.
In addition to overseeing the development of the catchers and pitchers, Fouts also was responsible for many off-field activities such as scheduling opponents, directing camps, field maintenance, recruiting and placement. He will likely handle many of the same responsibilities in a Pepperdine uniform.