June 30, 1997
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Buzz Verduzco, who starred for Washington State University in the mid-1980's and has been an assistant baseball coach for the Cougars since 1990, has been promoted to the number one assistant position, head coach Steve Farrington announced today.
"Buzz has been a part of this program for 10 years. He has paid his dues," Farrington said Monday. "He will take a much more active role in recruiting and be more involved in our game management. Buzz is a worker and a good players' coach, a real people guy," Farrington added of the former Pacific-10 North and WSU record holder who finished his playing career with the Cougars in 1985.
Verduzco first came to WSU in 1983 after two years at Merced Junior College. A starter as a junior in 1983, the Stockton, Calif., native missed the following season while recovering from a broken ankle. He returned to the field in 1985 and set a school and conference record with 246 at-bats. He drove home 42 runs, scored 46 and led WSU with 42 walks while earning all-league second team honors. Verduzco hit .313 in both 1983 and 1985.
"What makes this special is I played here," Verduzco said of his promotion. "You are always excited about coaching at a place you enjoy, but it means even more when it is where you played. That makes it special."
"I've waited a long time for this opportunity," Verduzco continued. "It is nice I can do it with Steve (Farrington) and with WSU. Next year we will have a lot of sophomores who have already been through the Pac-10 wars. It will be nice to coach kids who have that experience. When you add in our new players (joining the team next fall), I think you will see a big improvement in our play."
The 1980 graduate of Pittsburg (Calif.) High began his coaching career after graduating from WSU with a degree in psychology. He spent two years as an assistant football coach at Antioch High in Antioch, Calif., and was head junior varsity baseball coach for one season.
In 1987 Verduzco joined the baseball staff at the University of Nevada, spending three seasons as the outfield and hitters coach. While at the Reno school he earned a master's degree in physical education.
The seven-year Cougar assistant, who also picked up a teaching certificate while attending WSU, has taught classes in the area of recreation and leisure studies since his return to the Pullman campus. He was head coach of the now defunct Palouse Cougars, 1990-91, head coach of the Athletes in Action West Coast team, 1989, and head coach in 1993 of the Alberta Tigers summer team that won the zone title. He also coached the Cheney (Wash.) American Legion summer team that won the 1994 regional championship and finished 31-11.