TCU hires former Astro and Fullerton ace as pitching coach
by Stefan Stevenson
TCU baseball announced the addition of pitching coach Kirk Saarloos Tuesday.
Saarloos, who spent the last two years at Cal State Fullerton, replaces former TCU associate head coach Randy Mazey. Mazey took the head-coaching job at West Virginia.
Saarloos spent seven years in the major leagues, including two years with the Astros.
During his college career at Fullerton, Saarloos set a school record with 127 appearances from 1998-2001. He was a reliever his first three seasons but went 15-2 with four saves as a senior and was named a first-team All-American and Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year. Twice he helped the Titans reach the College World Series.
“He’s the perfect combination of someone who is a former outstanding major league player, as well as a former great college player and coach,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He was our top choice.”
Saarloos, 33, was an undergraduate assistant at Fullerton in 2011. He was promoted to pitching coach for the 2012 season. The year before Saarloos arrived at Fullerton the team ERA was 3.78. The last two years the Titans ERA was 2.88 and 3.18 with six complete games in 2012.
He said leaving his alma mater was tough but he and wife, Kristen, were overwhelmed by Fort Worth and TCU on a visit.
“We were blown away by the community and the university,” he said. “It was very difficult to leave because [Fullerton] was all I knew in terms of college baseball. I have a lot of great relationships over there. That says a lot about TCU.”
Saarloos and his wife have a five-year old son, Brady, and two-year old daughter, Emery. Saarloos was drafted 86th overall in the third round by Houston in 2001 and played with the Astros in 2002-03. He was one of a record six Astros pitchers to combine for a no-hitter against the Yankees in New York in 2003. He also played for Oakland (2004-07, 08) and Cincinnati (2007).