Rick Hirtensteiner, a four-year standout at Pepperdine who earned All-American honors as a senior in 1989, is in his 15th season as a member of the Waves' coaching staff in 2014-15.
Hirtensteiner is in his second stint serving as an assistant coach at Pepperdine, as he also worked under former head coach Frank Sanchez in 1998.
His coaching responsibilities include serving as hitting instructor, coaching third base and working with the outfielders. He also organizes Pepperdine's fund-raising efforts and the Malibu Baseball School.
Hirtensteiner was a vital part of this past season's run to the program's first-ever NCAA Super Regional appearance (since the round was instituted in 1999). The Waves won their first NCAA Regional since 1992 after grabbing the program's 17th WCC regular-season title and a WCC Tournament title as well.
Hirtensteiner's tireless efforts in the recruiting wars paid off in 2005 as that year's incoming class was ranked #7 nationally by Baseball America. The freshman class played a major role in helping the Waves compile a 41-23 overall record, win the West Coast Conference title, advance to the NCAA Tournament and conclude the year ranked in the national top 25.
During Hirtensteiner's 14 seasons as an assistant, Pepperdine has posted an overall record of 505-378 (.572), won five WCC crowns and advanced to the postseason eight times.
Named the WCC's Player of the Year in 1989, Hirtensteiner was an eighth-round draft pick by the California Angels. In 2007, Hirtensteiner was named to the WCC's 40th Anniversary Team.
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 and the Pioneer League with the Salt Lake City Trappers, plus stints in Australia and Mexico.
A graduate of nearby Buena High School in Ventura, Calif., Hirtensteiner cracked the Pepperdine lineup as a rookie in 1986 and ended his career #3 on the Waves' all-time games played list, appearing in 239 contests.
During Hirtensteiner's collegiate career at Pepperdine, the Waves won four WCC titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each season, compiling a cumulative four-year record of 164-76-7 (.678), including an 80-15-1 (.839) mark against league foes. The Waves earned a national top-20 ranking all four seasons.
The 1986 and 1988 teams advanced to the championship round in NCAA regional tournament play, while the 1987 team was ranked as high as #2 nationally and won a school-record 21 consecutive games.
A three-time All-WCC pick, Hirtensteiner ended his career ranked #6 in hitting at Pepperdine with a .336 batting average. He also ended his Waves' career as the school's all-time career leader in runs scored (228), triples (17) and total bases (470).
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, often tossing warm-up pitches in the outfield during conferences on the mound.
Hirtensteiner was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 1989 and earned 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.
After completing his professional career, Hirtensteiner opted to pursue a coaching job, landing an assignment as a volunteer assistant at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Hirtensteiner worked under head coach Jim Gilligan in 1996-97 while completing work for a master's degree in business administration.
Hirtensteiner and his wife, Shannon, have five sons, Cade, Cullen, Crosby, Colter and Cash and live in Agoura Hills.