Baylor baseball second-year head coach Steve Rodriguez was inducted into the Pepperdine University Department of Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony held Sunday evening at Firestone Fieldhouse.
During his playing career at Pepperdine from 1990-92, Rodriguez was a two-time All-American second baseman and led the Waves to a 1992 College World Series championship. The Las Vegas native was an All-American during his prep career at Valley High School prior to earning the starting job at second base as a freshman at Pepperdine and keeping it for all three seasons of his career.
Rodriguez still ranks second all-time in hitting at Pepperdine (.367) and is tied for third in runs scored (187), fourth in hits (271), eighth in stolen bases (82) and ninth in total bases (377).
In his first year with the Waves, Rodriguez earned Freshman All-American honors from both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball in 1990. He also collected All-West Coast Conference second team honors.
During his sophomore campaign, he set a school record with 104 hits and hit .419, which is the third-best mark in school history. He received All-American first team honors from Baseball America, second team from the American Baseball Coaches Association and third team by Collegiate Baseball. He also picked up All-District and All-WCC first team nods.
In his final season at Pepperdine, Rodriguez garnered All-American third team honors from both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball as a junior. He was the WCC Player of the Year and made the All-WCC first team while batting .348 with five home runs, 42 RBI and 35 stolen bases.
In 1992, after claiming the WCC title for the second straight year, and winning an NCAA Regional in Tucson, Arizona, Rodriguez and the Waves advanced to the College World Series for the second time in program history. He secured his place in Pepperdine and CWS lore with a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning in a semifinal game against Texas that led to a 5-4 Waves win during Pepperdine’s 1992 national championship run. Rodriguez was named to the All-College World Series team.
He also played with USA Baseball during this time, earning spots with the collegiate national team in the summers of both 1991 and 1992.
Rodriguez was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fifth round of the 1992 MLB Draft. He played professionally for seven seasons and reached the Major League level with Boston and Detroit in 1995.
Rodriguez returned to Pepperdine as an assistant coach in 2000. He earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations from Pepperdine in 2001, and received a master’s degree in education technology in 2003.
He was promoted to head coach prior to the 2004 season, and in his 12 seasons in charge, the Waves won 401 games, five WCC regular-season titles and five WCC Tournament titles, and made eight NCAA Tournament appearances.
In 2001, Rodriguez was named one of the WCC’s Top 50 athletes of all time, and in 2007, the WCC named him to its 40th Anniversary Team.
Following the 2015 season, Rodriguez stepped down as head coach at Pepperdine to take the head coach spot at Baylor. In his first season with the Bears, he extended BU's run of qualifying for every Big 12 Championship event (20) since joining the league in 1996, led BU to 10 or more wins (10) in league play for the first time since 2013, took two of three games from No. 10 TCU for the program's first Big 12 series win over the Horned Frogs, saws the Bears hit 30 or more home runs as a team for the first time since 2012, continued BU's streak of finishing with a .500 record or better at Baylor Ballpark in every season in the park (18 seasons since 1999), extended the Bears' streak of having 20 or more wins (24) in a season to 45 (since 1972) and posted the program's first five-game winning streak since 2013.
Among honors under Rodriguez, the Bears had 10 or more (11) Academic All-Big 12 selections for the fifth straight season, multiple (6) All-Big 12 selections for the 20th straight season (every year as a league member) and their first ABCA All-Region selection (RHP Troy Montemayor, first team) since 2012.
Rodriguez and his wife, Kimberlee, a Pepperdine graduate, and their children Julia and Nolan reside in McGregor, Texas.