Rice completed a three-game sweep of FIU with an 8-1 win on Sunday
Clay Van Hook is in his third year with the Owls' coaching staff.
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 has since added 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 Owls as hitters, fielders and base-runners. Last season Rice led Conference USA and was among the top 40 teams in the nation in hits, averaging 9.6 per game. His daily work helping the hitters sharpen their overall skills was a reason the Owls were able to lead the conference and finish third in the nation in sacrifice bunts. Improved discipline at the plate also helped the squad stay atop the league in drawing walks (273 in 64 games). On the defensive side Rice finished second in the conference in fielding percentage (.974) and turned the sixth-most double plays in Division I.
In 2013 one of Van Hook's infielders, senior Christian Stringer, was named the most valuable player of the Conference USA Tournament where the Blue & Gray stormed to the league title. After working with Van Hook, Stringer went on to be selected in the major league draft and since has begun his pro career.
Van Hook's second Rice season was even better than his first where the Owl hitters finished among the C-USA leaders in doubles (106 in 60 games) and RBI (303). His fielders maintained a .975 percentage and turned a total of 46 double-plays.
Prior to Rice Van Hook worked at McNeese State for three years. He trained the 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.
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 have a daughter, Avery Michel, born on December 30, 2012.