Aug. 23, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton baseball Head Coach Rick Vanderhook rounded out his coaching staff this week with the re-hiring of former Titan catcher and Volunteer Assistant Coach Chad Baum.
The 12-year Div. I coaching veteran will resume his role as the Titans' volunteer assistant coach in 2012. He completes Vanderhook's staff that includes assistant coaches Mike Kirby and Kirk Saarloos.
Baum, a veteran of four College World Series as a Titan player and coach, returns to Fullerton after spending the last seven seasons as an assistant coach at both UC Irvine and Santa Clara.
Baum, 33, first served on a Titan staff in 2000 as an undergraduate assistant coach for then-Titan skipper George Horton. The next season he assumed the volunteer position and completed a coaching staff that led Fullerton to three College World Series appearances and the school's fourth national championship between 2001 and 2004.
His expertise behind the plate helped him tutor 2004 All-American and Johnny Bench Award winner Kurt Suzuki, who has since gone on to to a five-year major league career with the Oakland A's. In all, Baum worked with 17 Titan position players that were selected in the major league draft and also worked with Titan major leaguers Mike Rouse (2001), Shane Costa (2002), Justin Turner and Blake Davis (2004).
In 2005, he left Fullerton to be a part of Dave Serrano's first staff at UC Irvine, where he served two seasons as the Anteaters' first base coach, hitting instructor and catching tutor.
He moved out of the Big West Conference and into the West Coast Conference in 2007 when he joined Mark O'Brien's staff at Santa Clara. While in the Bay Area, Baum served as the Broncos' third base coach, primary hitting/catching instructor and also assisted in the program's recruiting efforts.
The Broncos hit .325 and scored more than seven runs per game in both 2008 (ranked 19th in the nation in batting average) and 2010 (ranked 42nd in the nation in batting average), while leading the WCC in nearly all offensive categories those same years.
In five seasons with Santa Clara, he helped five position players get drafted including catchers Tommy Medica (14th round) and Geoff Klein (15th round).
Baum, who graduated with a degree in kinesiology in 1999, was a Titan team captain in 1998 and again in 1999, when Fullerton reached the College World Series. Baum appeared in 38 games over the two-year stretch and hit three home runs in just 44 at-bats. He was also reliable behind the plate, turning in a perfect 1.000 career fielding percentage (70 chances).
Prior to his pair of seasons in a Titan uniform, Baum spent a season each at Santa Ana College and Golden West College. Baum batted .306 in 1997 for the Dons, who were ranked No.1 in the country during most of the season. He was selected in the 42nd round of the 1997 draft by the San Francisco Giants.
Baum prepped for Coach Mike Najera at Canyon H.S. in Anaheim Hills and earned honorable-mention All-Century League honors. While at Canyon, Baum hit one of nine home runs that set a one-game CIF record for the Comanches.
Baum is currently engaged to be married to his fiancee Kristin Hambaroff in September. They will reside in Irvine.