A silent fist pump and strong pat on the shoulder come from head coach of the BYU baseball team Vance Law, as one of his players brushes the dirt off his pants after stealing third base.
This situation seems pretty generic for most coaches in college at the time, except the player receiving accolades this time is none other than Adam Law, coach Law’s son.
Coach Law is in his 13th year coaching at BYU, and is deeply rooted in the traditions of BYU baseball. Throughout his life coach Law has been surrounded by baseball, and he has absolutely loved it.
“At an early age we got involved in athletics,” Law said. “My father [Vernon Law] was a great player. He was always there for us growing up. We always played catch and he was able to shag fly balls and do batting practice with me.”
Coach Law’s father, Vernon, is no stranger to the game of baseball. Vernon played professionally for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1960 he pitched in the World Series for the Pirates and he won the Cy Young award. With all of Vernon’s accomplishments, he said his greatest is still his family.
“I would have to say the most important thing to my father is his children and grandchildren,” Vance Law said. “He is always there for his family and has really created a legacy for us.”
After playing in the major leagues, Vernon came to be an assistant coach at BYU. He coached 10 years with both Coach Glen Tuckett and Coach Gary Pullins.
Tuckett, known as one of BYU’s winningest coaches, was the head coach of BYU baseball from 1959-1976. Tuckett explained his years at BYU as “his Camelot,” or his 34-year love affair. Not only did Tuckett work alongside Vernon Law as his assistant coach, he also coached Vance when he played at BYU.
“He [Vance Law] started for me his freshman year,” Tuckett said. “He was a great player and could throw as good as any shortstop we ever had here at BYU. He was a superb young man and a great example to the rest of the team. Having his dad as as assistant coach was wonderful, having a hall of famer coach alongside you is great.”
Adam Law, a sophomore and second baseman, feels it an honor to be coached by his father.
“I take it as a great experience to have a 14-year pro baseball player as my coach and one that I can ask about the game any time,” Adam said. “I feel it a privilege to be here at BYU under his direction.”
Adam felt he always had to work harder and practice longer to prove he had what it took to be on the team.
“I always try to fit in as one of the guys,” Adam said. “I don’t try to be known as the coach’s kid or receive any special treatment. I take it as an opportunity to get better and push myself harder so people don’t doubt the reason I am here.”
BYU assistant coach Wally Ritchie feels Vance is making great strides with the young men on the team.
“He has a great passion for the game,” Ritchie said. “I think the thing you notice most is how much he cares for each of the players. He wants them to succeed whether on the field, in the classroom or in their personal life, and that’s the big thing, he wants them to do their best.
Ritchie feels the influence of the Law family on the team is tremendous.
“Obviously you have Vernon, who won a Cy Young award and coached here,” Ritchie said. “Vern still comes around and gets to know the kids a little bit. Obviously Vance played here and is now coaching, and he has played in the big leagues. The baseball side is outstanding, but the family side is outstanding too, getting a really good package for BYU baseball.”