Baseball Returns

University of St. Thomas brings varsity baseball back after 50-year absence and hires coach

VanderLaan spent the 2017-18 year at Saginaw Valley, where he was promoted to the head coaching position in April. Courtesy photo

The University of St. Thomas has hired Clayton VanderLaan as the head coach of the school’s varsity baseball team. They will get started in the spring of 2020 after more than a half-century absence.

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VanderLaan, a Houston native with more than 20 years of baseball experience as a player and a coach, recently served as head baseball coach at Saginaw Valley State University, an NCAA Division II institution in University Center, Michigan.

The hire of VanderLaan will also serve as a homecoming of sorts, as he spent three years on the coaching staff at nearby St. Thomas High School.

“We are extremely excited to welcome home Coach Clayton VanderLaan,” UST Athletic Director Todd Smith said. “We wanted a leader who knew and loved Houston, understood our institution, and would relate to the young men who want to play college baseball. Coach VanderLaan embodied all of these qualities. Led by Coach ‘V’, we have a fantastic opportunity to set a foundation and build a culture of success on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”

When Coach guides the 2020 Celts onto the field for their first home game, VanderLaan will likely be in a familiar setting; the Celts will play most of their home games at St. Thomas High School for the foreseeable future.