Vance Law, former major league all-star and dual-sport Cougar athlete player, has been named BYU's new head baseball coach.
Law, 43, replaces his former coach Gary Pullins as the new BYU mentor. After 23 years at the helm with a 913-462-6 (.663) record, Pullins was reassigned in June as a BYU Assistant Athletic Director.
"It is a privilege to carry on the tradition Coach Pullins and Glen Tuckett have established when I played for them," said Law. "This is a wonderful opportunity to help young people impact their lives in a positive manner. With the administration's commitment to upgrade the facilities, I hope to make this sport self-sufficient so that the people in the community want to support it just like football and basketball."
Law has been serving as head baseball coach at Provo High School since 1995 where he compiled a 64-55 (.538) record in five seasons. In 1997 he led the Bulldogs to the state title (18-9 record) and was named 4-A Coach of the Year. He previously had served for two seasons as an assistant coach at Utah Valley State College in 1993-94.
"We had some very impressive candidates for our baseball coaching position," said BYU Athletic Director Val Hale. "Vance emerged as the front runner once we looked closely at his remarkable credentials. He brings a level of excitement as we continue to upgrade our baseball program. His experience as a two-sport student-athlete, as a professional baseball player, and his initiatives as a coach will take us in an exciting direction for the new century."
The infielder/outfielder played 14 years of professional baseball, including 11 on the major league level with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1978-81), Chicago White Sox (1982-84), Montreal Expos (1985-87), Chicago Cubs (1988-89), and Oakland Athletics (1991). He also played in 1990 for the Chunichi Dragons in Nagoya, Japan. In 1988 the third baseman was one of six Cubs named to the National League All-Star team in the game played at Cincinnati. He was selected the Most Valuable Cub by the Baseball Writers Association and also received the Ken Hubbs Memorial Award. He was also elected National League Player Representative in the Player's Association which was involved in negotiations with team owners.
"I've had chances to go elsewhere and didn't know if this opportunity here would ever be available," said Law. "I've always looked forward to getting to a higher level in coaching. This comes at a real opportune time."
The Provo High graduate was a three-time All-Western Athletic Conference shortstop at BYU where he played from 1974-78. He was also a starting guard with the BYU basketball team where he lettered three seasons (1975-77). He was All-WAC Academic in both baseball and basketball.
Vance is the third son of Vernon Law, former Cy Young Award pitcher in1960 with the Pittsburgh Pirates when he also was named to the all-star team. Vernon, who had six children, spent 11 years as an assistant coach at BYU from 1969-79.
Vance is married to the former Sharon Metten also of Provo and they have five children: Tim, 20 (now serving a Mandarin-speaking mission to Toronto, Canada); Natalie, 17; Andrew, 13; Adam, 9; and Sarah, 8. Law becomes the 10th head coach in the history of BYU baseball, dating back to 1909.