Pepperdine Continues Five-Game Homestand vs. Bulldogs
Pepperdine Hosts Cal State Fullerton Tuesday
Waves Host Huskies for Three; UC Santa Barbara Tuesday
Chris Amezquita Homers, Matt Maurer Tosses Seven Strong and Michael Swanner Collects Seventh Save
League-Leading Waves Open Five-Game Road Trip Tuesday vs. Mustangs
Pepperdine took a thrilling 1-0 victory (11) against Washington Saturday on a walk-off single by Hutton Moyer.
No. 2 seed Pepperdine vs. No. 3 seed Michigan State Palo Alto Regional Stanford, Calif. June 1, 2012
Hired as the University's 16th head coach on June 18, 2003, Rodriguez has brought a positive, never-say-die attitude to the program that prevailed during his rookie campaign of 2004 and has continued through his first nine years in the position.
Since taking over the reins, Rodriguez has compiled a 299-229 (.566) record, including a 130-79 (.622) mark in West Coast Conference play. He led the Waves to three consecutive WCC titles between 2004-06 and again in 2012. His teams have made NCAA Championships appearances in six of nine seasons: his first five years on the job (2004-08) and again in 2012.*
Only Dave Gorrie (611) has managed more games than Rodriguez (528) in a Pepperdine uniform. Rodriguez heads into 2013 in second place on the program's all-time wins list.*
Five of his players have been All-Americans, Zach Vincej won the 2012 Brooks Wallace Award as the nation's top shortstop and Waves have been selected to All-WCC teams 63 times under his watch.
Since he's been head coach, four of his former players have reached the major leagues - Chase d'Arnaud, Barry Enright, Eric Thames and Danny Worth -- and his players have been drafted by MLB clubs 32 times. The Waves tied a school record with nine players taken in the 2007 MLB Draft.
In addition to carrying on the program's winning tradition, Rodriguez and assistants Rick Hirtensteiner and Sean Kenny have worked tirelessly in the area of fundraising. Those efforts have paid off with the installation of new stadium seats (2004), a new, state-of-the-art scoreboard (2007), a new backstop (2008), a new padded outfield wall (2009) and new turf in the batting cages (2011).
Prior to being named head coach, Rodriguez served as a Waves' assistant coach for four seasons, during which Pepperdine compiled an overall record of 145-98 (.597), including an 88-32 (.733) mark in West Coast Conference (WCC) play. The Waves captured the WCC title in 2001 and made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2003.
Rodriguez maintained the Waves' high level of play, winning at least 30 games in each of his first six seasons, including 42 in 2006 and 41 in 2005. The Waves won or shared three straight WCC regular-season titles between 2004 and 2006, and went on to win the WCC Champioship Series each time. Each of those three years, the Waves advanced to the NCAA Regional final, and the school hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time ever in 2006.
Pepperdine advanced to NCAA Regional play again in 2007, and made it to both the WCC Championship Series and the final of an NCAA Regional in 2008.*
Though the Waves missed out on postseason play for a couple of years, Rodriguez brought the program back to top in 2012. Despite being picked to finish fifth in the WCC preseason coaches' poll, the Waves beat San Diego in the final game of the regular season to clinch the title. The Waves then went on to finish second at the NCAA Stanford Regional. Rodriguez was rewarded with WCC Coach of the Year honors for the first time.
Rodriguez is only the third former Pepperdine player to assume the head coaching duties for the Waves in the program's history. Gary Marks earned the distinction of being the first former Pepperdine player to pilot the program when he skippered the Waves from 1963-67. Gail Hopkins, who played at Pepperdine from 1962-64, coached Pepperdine during the 1968 season.
"I am extremely honored and appreciative for the opportunity to serve as Pepperdine's head baseball coach," said Rodriguez at his hiring. "As an alumnus of Pepperdine, I have strong feelings for the university and understand what it takes to be a student-athlete at Pepperdine. I am enjoying the challenge of continuing the rich baseball tradition that Pepperdine has achieved over many years and to keep the program a consistent winner that competes on a regular basis for conference titles and is consistently ranked among the top programs in the country."
Rodriguez, a fifth-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1992, played professionally for seven seasons with the Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos organizations. Rodriguez reached the majors with both Boston and Detroit in 1995.
A two-time All-American, he was named WCC Player of the Year in 1992 as the Waves posted a 48-11 mark and captured the College World Series 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 Cal State Fullerton in the championship game.
A product of Valley High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Rodriguez helped Pepperdine post a three-year record of 126-51-5 (.706) from 1990-92, including a 72-26 (.735) mark in league play. The Waves won the league title and advanced to the NCAA Championships in both 1991 and 1992.
A first-team All-WCC selection in 1991 and 1992, Rodriguez made a big splash as a sophomore in 1991 when he batted .419, the third-highest single-season average in school history. His 104 base hits that season set a Pepperdine single-season record that still stands. He still ranks in the top 10 in five different single-season categories.
Rodriguez' career batting average of .367 ranks second on the Waves' all-time list. Despite playing just three seasons of collegiate baseball, Rodriguez is tied for third on the school's all-time career runs scored chart (187) and is fourth in hits (271).
Rodriguez was a member of the Team USA in both 1991 and 1992. He played in the Pan American Games in 1991 and earned "Player of the Series" honors against Mexico and Cuba. He was also named "Player of the Series" against Korea while a member of Team USA in 1992.
In 2001, Rodriguez was named one of the WCC's Top 50 athletes of all time, and was selected to the conference's 40th Anniversary baseball team in 2007.
Following his professional playing career, Rodriguez enrolled in classes at Riverside Community College and Chapman University before returning to Pepperdine, where he received a bachelor's degree in public relations in December of 2001. He earned a master's degree in educational technology from Pepperdine in 2003.
In October 2007, he was honored by the City of Malibu with the Jake Kuredjian Award for his service to the community.
In January 2010, Rodriguez won the Top Chef Award at the Baseball Coaches Cooking Challenge hosted by the ESPN Zone in Anaheim, Calif. He successfully defended his title in 2011.
Rodriguez and his wife, Kimberlee, have a daughter, Julia, and a son, Nolan, and live in Agoura Hills.
* Due to NCAA sanctions against the University, Pepperdine later vacated all wins and NCAA Championship appearances in baseball between the 2008 and 2011 seasons. Pepperdine's adjusted overall NCAA records for each season are 0-19 (2008), 0-23 (2009), 0-30 (2010) and 0-34 (2011). Steve Rodriguez' official NCAA coaching record is now 184-227 (.448).