Rice completed a three-game sweep of FIU with an 8-1 win on Sunday
Clay Van Hook is in his second year with the Owls' staff, only with a new title and responsibilities.
Van Hook served as Rice's volunteer assistant coach during his first year with the program in 2012. He was promoted by Wayne Graham to a full-time position prior to the start of the 2013 season and now adds recruiting and coaching at third base on game days to his growing list of duties.
One thing that has not changed is that Van Hook will continue to work with the Owl hitters and on individual fielding skills. In his first season Rice finished among the C-USA leaders in doubles (106 in 60 games) and RBI (303). His daily work helping the hitters sharpen their overall skills was a reason the Owls were able to lead the conference in sacrifice bunts. Improved discipline at the plate also helped the squad vault up to lead the league with 279 walks. On the defensive side Rice finished second in the conference in fielding percentage (.975) and turned a total of 46 double-plays.
While at McNeese State for three years, Van Hook worked with infielders, helped with the team's hitting, and served as the Cowboys' third base coach. He had a role in recruiting and helped MSU post its first winning record in four years in his very first season in 2010.
"Clay has been coaching a few years and he's from a baseball family who has been a student of the game his whole life,"Graham said. "His work-ethic is off the scale. He's been able to get the most out of his own ability and he will be able to do the same with the players around him.
"His father (Kyle Van Hook) was an assistant coach for me at San Jacinto for two years, and we won the national championship in both years (1989 & `90). The Van Hook family and I are 2-0 in winning national championships," Graham quipped.
A native of Brenham, Tex., Clay played one season at Navarro College before becoming a three-year letterman at the University of Texas (2005-07). He earned second team all-Big 12 and was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the major league draft. Van Hook earned his degree at Texas in 2008 while serving one season as a student-coach with the Longhorns.
Van Hook and his wife, Selina, live in Pearland, Tex. The couple welcomed their new baby, Avery Michel, born on December 30, 2012.