Kirk Saarloos, a former major leaguer, will join the TCU baseball staff as an assistant coach. Saarloos comes to TCU after two seasons as the pitching coach at Cal State Fullerton.
“We are so very excited to welcome Kirk [and his family] to the Horned Frog family,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “They are the total package, incredibly impressive and I have no doubt that they will make an immediate impact on our program and in the Fort Worth community. I have been observing Kirk from afar for the last two years. He did an amazing job with a young pitching staff this past season at Cal State Fullerton. He fits our mold of an outstanding, energetic, experienced young coach who will be committed daily to the development of our players.”
“My family and I are thankful for the faith that Chris Del Conte and Coach Schlossnagle have put in us,” said Saarloos. “We are truly excited to become part of the Fort Worth community and TCU family. I am looking forward to developing student-athletes at a high level and continuing the great tradition of the TCU baseball program.”
Saarloos will replace former assistant head coach Randy Mazey who left to coach at West Virginia University.
Saarloos joined the Titan coaching staff in 2011 after wrapping up a seven-year major league. He spent his first season on staff as an undergraduate assistant for Dave Serrano. Saarloos moved into the role of pitching coach when Rick Vanderhook took over the head coaching duties in the summer of 2011.
In his two seasons at Fullerton, the Titans put together a 77-38 (.670) record and won two Big West titles.
After taking over the pitchers in the fall of 2011, Saarloos coached a predominantly freshman and sophomore pitching staff to a team ERA of 3.18. They fanned 336 batters and limited opponents to a .250 batting average against. The group led the country in fewest walks per nine innings, ranked third in K:BB ratio and fifth in WHIP. At the end of the season, four pitchers earned Freshman All-American accolades.
Under his guidance, Dylan Floro was named the 2012 Big West Pitcher of the Year. The junior compiled a 10-4 record in 17 appearances. In 15 starts, the right-hander tossed three complete games. He went on to be drafted in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB draft.
Saarloos spent seven years in the major leagues, playing for Houston (2002-03), Oakland (2004-06, 08) and Cincinnati (2007). In 2001, he was drafted 86th overall (3rd round) by Houston after a decorated collegiate career at Cal State Fullerton.
In seven seasons in the big leagues, Saarloos made 73 starts as part of 165 appearances on the mound. He posted a career record of 29-30 with two saves and a 5.02 ERA. In 509 innings pitched, he fanned 251 batters. He was called up to the majors on June 18, 2002. Saarloos made history on June 11, 2003 as he was one of a major league record six Astro pitchers to combine for a no-hitter against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
As a player at Cal State Fullerton, he racked up a school-record 127 appearances over his four seasons in a Titan uniform. His first three seasons were spent as a reliever before moving into a starting role as a senior. In 2001, he went on to earn first-team All-American honors and was named the Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year after putting together a 15-2 campaign. He owns one of the Titans three no-hitters as he blanked Pacific on April 8, 2001.
He was 33-12 with a 2.96 ERA in four collegiate seasons. He ranks sixth all-time in innings pitched, second in wins, third in strikeouts and fifth in saves. In two appearances at the College World Series (1999 and 2001), he recorded a save and allowed just two runs in 15 1/3 innings pitched.