Head Baseball Coach
Rick Hirtensteiner, a four-year standout at Pepperdine who earned both All-American and Academic All-American honors for the Waves, in addition to being the WCC Player of the Year as a senior in 1989, enters his 18th season as a member of the Waves’ coaching staff and his first as the program’s head coach after being named to the position in June.
Hirtensteiner is the 17th head coach in the program’s storied history after taking over for Steve Rodriguez this summer.
During his time as an assistant, Hirtensteiner’s responsibilities included serving as hitting instructor, coaching third base and working with the outfielders. He also organized Pepperdine’s fundraising efforts and the Malibu Baseball School. During Hirtensteiner’s 17 seasons as an assistant, Pepperdine posted an overall record of 578-423 (.577), won six WCC regular-season crowns and advanced to the postseason 10 times.
Assistant Baseball Coach
Pepperdine head coach Rick Hirtensteiner announced the first addition to his new coaching staff with the hiring of assistant Cooper Fouts in July of 2015. Fouts was previously with the Waves as a volunteer assistant for two seasons (2011-12).
He comes to Pepperdine after serving as an assistant coach at Utah Valley for the past three seasons. Fouts will serve as the Waves’ recruiting coordinator, while also working to oversee and develop all aspects of the Pepperdine offense.
“Cooper is a tremendous recruiter, coach, husband, and father,” said Hirtensteiner. “His work ethic is unmatched and his energy is second to none. Cooper holds Pepperdine baseball and the overall mission of the University in high regard, and is an outstanding fit for the program. I expect Cooper to make an immediate impact on the program and in the lives of our student athletes. I am excited to have Cooper back in a Waves uniform.”
Assistant Baseball Coach
Pepperdine Baseball Head Coach Rick Hirtensteiner finalized his coaching staff with the hiring of pitching coach Rolando Garza. Garza comes to Malibu after serving as the pitching coach at Riverside City College and in the Los Angeles Angels minor league system.
“I am excited to welcome Rolando to the Pepperdine family,” said Hirtensteiner. “Rolando has a wealth of experience and success. He has a great passion for coaching and has shown the ability to create relationships with his pitchers which leads to their development not only as student athletes and baseball players, but builds character and discipline, molding them into men.”
Garza started his coaching career at Riverside City College under coaching legend Dennis Rogers, who has developed head coaches such as Kentucky’s Gary Henderson, Baylor’s Rodriguez, UC Santa Barbara’s Andrew Checketts, Brian Green of New Mexico State, Randy Bennet at Cal Poly Pomona, and Gary Adcock of Cal Baptist.
Volunteer Assistant Baseball Coach
Matt Wilson completes his second season as a member of the Pepperdine staff. He was a member of the Waves’ staff that guided Pepperdine to a 43-18 record and a WCC title in 2014 and a second-straight NCAA postseason appearance in 2015.
The Waves won a WCC tournament title as well and made a run to the program’s first ever NCAA Super Regional (since the round was instituted in 1999) in 2014. The Waves’ regional win was the program’s first since its NCAA Championship season in 1992. Pepperdine again made it to a regional final this past season after ousting both Clemson and Arizona State, before falling to host Cal State Fullerton.
Working with the Wave catchers, Wilson helped develop Freshman All-American Aaron Barnett, who led the team with a .359 batting average and threw out 39% of base-stealers from behind the plate.