Serrano hopes UT is last stop
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2011 9:03 pm
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Dave Serrano is back at Tennessee where he broke into the Division I coaching ranks as an assistant, and he doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
“I’ve come full circle now and I plan on this being my last job,” Serrano said Thursday at his introductory news conference. “I hope to have success here.
“We will have success. It may take a little bit of time, but we will have success.”
Serrano has had plenty of success in the past 15 years.
He was an assistant at Tennessee when the 1995 Vols made the College World Series for the first time in 44 years.
He is one of only 11 coaches to take two different programs to the College World Series, first with UC Irvine in 2007 and again with Cal State Fullerton in 2009.
Combined, Serrano took teams to six consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament, including four straight super regional appearances.
“He was here before. He understands Tennessee,” interim athletic director Joan Cronan said. “We hired a great coach. We just didn’t hire an average coach. We hired a great coach.”
Tennessee needed some good news after athletic director Mike Hamilton announced his resignation June 7.
Cronan was named the interim athletic director two days later, and the university went before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on June 11.
Chancellor Jimmy Cheek attended Thursday’s news conference but lefty quickly. Cronan, the interim vice chancellor who’s also helping oversee the merging of the men’s and women’s athletics departments, said Tennessee would like to have a hire made by the time the football season begins but had no update.
“We’re looking at when the search committee is going to be released. I don’t know exactly when that’s going out,” she said. “We’re going full speed ahead, but I don’t know exactly what the timetable is.”
Tennessee made its third and most recent trip to the CWS in 2005.
The Vols haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since.
That includes the four-year tenure of Todd Raleigh, who went 108-113 record before being fired in May after Tennessee failed to make the Southeastern Conference tournament for a fourth straight season.
Serrano already is busy working, trying to contact all of the committed recruits and each of Tennessee’s returning players as quickly as possible.
He said he will build the program on pitching and defense with an aggressive offense, especially running the bases.
He also expects George Bergeron, his top assistant at both Irvine and Fullerton, to join him on staff.