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HCU Names Clay VanderLaan as Next Head Baseball Coach

HOUSTON – On Tuesday afternoon, HCU Director of Athletics Steve Moniaci announced the hiring of  as the school’s next head baseball coach.

“As we did our due diligence in searching for our next head baseball coach it became apparent the right person for the job was already right here on campus,” said Moniaci. “Coach VanderLaan is a terrific fit for our baseball program, within our department and as part of our university community. We look forward to continued growth, improvement and success on the field and in the classroom under his leadership.”

“I’d like to start by thanking Dr. Sloan and Steve Moniaci for the opportunity to stay at home and lead the HCU baseball program,” said VanderLaan. “This university is a special place and the values it represents are so important to me and my family. I’m confident in what we can continue to build together here and I know the best is yet to come for both our baseball program and the university.”

VanderLaan spent the last three seasons on staff as an assistant coach at HCU, helping guide a program that improved by 6.5 games this year from 2023. The Huskies finished ninth in the league standings for the 2024 season but entered the final weekend of the season with a fifth-place finish a possibility.

During his three years with the Huskies, HCU has produced six all-Southland Conference players and five academic all-conference selections. In 2023, junior  won the SLC batting title with a .392 batting average. Last summer, relief pitcher  was selected in the 10th round by the Milwaukee Brewers, representing the program’s first draft pick since 2018.

Prior to joining the Huskies, VanderLaan was the head coach at the University St. Thomas in Houston for seasons, overseeing the Celts’ return to varsity baseball after more than half a century without a program. He posted a 24-27 record at UST, going 17-16 in 2021 and 7-11 in the pandemic-shortened inaugural season in 2020. VanderLaan spent the 2017-18 academic year at Division II Saginaw Valley State, taking over the head coaching position in April of that season.

Prior to his collegiate coaching career, VanderLaan was the pitching coach for three seasons at St. Thomas High School in Houston, capping his tenure by winning the 2017 TAPPS Division I Championship. He guided the St. Thomas pitching staff to an 80-21 record and 2.85 ERA in three seasons, including a 65-4 mark over the last two campaigns. Eleven pitchers from the program went on to play college baseball.

VanderLaan played three years of professional baseball from 2012-14 with the Frontier Greys in the Frontier League and the Alexandria Aces and Brownsville Charros of United League Baseball. He began his collegiate career at Michigan State before becoming a three-year letterwinner at Cameron University where he earned All-Lone Star Conference honorable mention laurels.

Following his collegiate baseball career, VanderLaan played two seasons of college football at Graceland University and earned a bachelor of arts in liberal studies in 2014. He is a Houston native and attended Cypress Ridge High School.

He and his wife, Mandy, have two children, Stella and Hattie.

VanderLaan has been an assistant coach with the Huskies’ program the last three years

HOUSTON – On Tuesday afternoon, HCU Director of Athletics Steve Moniaci announced the hiring of  as the school’s next head baseball coach.

“As we did our due diligence in searching for our next head baseball coach it became apparent the right person for the job was already right here on campus,” said Moniaci. “Coach VanderLaan is a terrific fit for our baseball program, within our department and as part of our university community. We look forward to continued growth, improvement and success on the field and in the classroom under his leadership.”

“I’d like to start by thanking Dr. Sloan and Steve Moniaci for the opportunity to stay at home and lead the HCU baseball program,” said VanderLaan. “This university is a special place and the values it represents are so important to me and my family. I’m confident in what we can continue to build together here and I know the best is yet to come for both our baseball program and the university.”

VanderLaan spent the last three seasons on staff as an assistant coach at HCU, helping guide a program that improved by 6.5 games this year from 2023. The Huskies finished ninth in the league standings for the 2024 season but entered the final weekend of the season with a fifth-place finish a possibility.

During his three years with the Huskies, HCU has produced six all-Southland Conference players and five academic all-conference selections. In 2023, junior  won the SLC batting title with a .392 batting average. Last summer, relief pitcher  was selected in the 10th round by the Milwaukee Brewers, representing the program’s first draft pick since 2018.

Prior to joining the Huskies, VanderLaan was the head coach at the University St. Thomas in Houston for seasons, overseeing the Celts’ return to varsity baseball after more than half a century without a program. He posted a 24-27 record at UST, going 17-16 in 2021 and 7-11 in the pandemic-shortened inaugural season in 2020. VanderLaan spent the 2017-18 academic year at Division II Saginaw Valley State, taking over the head coaching position in April of that season.

Prior to his collegiate coaching career, VanderLaan was the pitching coach for three seasons at St. Thomas High School in Houston, capping his tenure by winning the 2017 TAPPS Division I Championship. He guided the St. Thomas pitching staff to an 80-21 record and 2.85 ERA in three seasons, including a 65-4 mark over the last two campaigns. Eleven pitchers from the program went on to play college baseball.

VanderLaan played three years of professional baseball from 2012-14 with the Frontier Greys in the Frontier League and the Alexandria Aces and Brownsville Charros of United League Baseball. He began his collegiate career at Michigan State before becoming a three-year letterwinner at Cameron University where he earned All-Lone Star Conference honorable mention laurels.

Following his collegiate baseball career, VanderLaan played two seasons of college football at Graceland University and earned a bachelor of arts in liberal studies in 2014. He is a Houston native and attended Cypress Ridge High School.

He and his wife, Mandy, have two children, Stella and Hattie.