Dave Serrano hired as new UT baseball coach

Dave Serrano, left, argues a call with first base umpire Scott Cline during an NCAA college baseball super regional tournament in June 2010. The Cal State Fullerton head coach has been chosen as Tennessee's new baseball coach.

Photo by Jason Redmond, Associated Press

Dave Serrano, left, argues a call with first base umpire Scott Cline during an NCAA college baseball super regional tournament in June 2010. The Cal State Fullerton head coach has been chosen as Tennessee's new baseball coach.

Dave Serrano

Dave Serrano

Tennessee has hired Cal State Fullerton's Dave Serrano as its new baseball coach, a university spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

A press conference is set for Thursday at 2 p.m. to present Serrano as the Vols' replacement for Todd Raleigh, who was fired last month after four disappointing seasons.

“After an overwhelming 24 hours of events, I have made the decision to leave a great program at Cal State Fullerton to take on the challenge of returning the University of Tennessee to a spot among the nation’s elite,” Serrano said in a university statement. “While this decision was not an easy one, it makes it a little easier to say yes when you have an entire family completely in support for you. We hope to be proud and active members of the Knoxville community and will work hard to give Volunteer fans a baseball team that they can cheer on for years to come.”

Serrano, who was in Knoxville for an interview today, served as an assistant on Rod Delmonico's staff at UT from 1995-96. His career blossomed thereafter, as he moved out west and served as a top assistant at Fullerton from 1997-2004. His first head coaching gig came in 2005 at UC Irvine, where Serrano, over three seasons, led the Anteaters to postseason appearances in 2006 and 2007 and their first College World Series in 2007.

Serrano's success continued at Fullerton, where he's been since the 2008 season. The Titans won no fewer than 40 games in each of Serrano's four seasons, all of which included a trip to the NCAA tournament. Fullerton's last trip to the College World Series came in 2009.

“Dave is a proven winner and is a perfect fit as the head baseball coach at the University of Tennessee,” interim vice chancellor for athletics Joan Cronan said in a university statement. “He has taken two programs to the College World Series as a head coach, and we are confident that he is the right coach to lead our program to national prominence.”

According to the Orange County Register, Serrano's base salary at Fullerton was in the neighborhood of $140,000, but he was likely receiving close to $300,000 because of compensation from baseball camps, equipment contracts and playoff bonuses.

On Tuesday, UT interviewed South Carolina top assistant Chad Holbrook for the position. Through a statement released by South Carolina this morning, Holbrook pulled his name out of the running. Former Vol Chris Burke and Los Angeles Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt were also considered for the position.

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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Comments » 95

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

Congratulations.

borovol1956 writes:

Looks to be a good hire.

UTKin1992 writes:

So...what can you guys tell those of us not in the know about Dave Serrano?

easleychuck writes:

So the naysayers are going to bring up the junk about him not having an acredited degree.

We are hiring a baseball coach not a professor. Good luck, Dave.

And now we know why Holbrook made such a big deal about getting an interview and then asking to no longer to be considered.

He wasn't offered the job.

FearlessFreep writes:

Well, that was quick.

He's the 'safe' choice. Has been a HC at two different programs, has a UT connection.

Can improve UT's program. Worst-case scenario he is fired in a few years by the permanent AD who then hires his own person.

flatrock writes:

Hope he hires Chris Burke as No. 1 assistant!

Outdated writes:

I never understood the firing of Delmonico..I like that Serrano has been at UT before..appears to be a good move...

FearlessFreep writes:

@JimmyHyams reports:
Possible staff: Larry Simcox and Bill Mosiello.

Heck this is basically the Delmonico era again, without Rod. What a slap in the face of our soon-to-be-departed AD.

agentorange writes:

Watched Cal State several times in baseball. The teams were good. Alot of talent on them.

VolNExile writes:

in response to Outdated:

I never understood the firing of Delmonico..I like that Serrano has been at UT before..appears to be a good move...

Didn't his teams have terrible academic issues? This is just from what I've picked up here. I wasn't really following UT baseball at the time.

drone#208075 writes:

See ya'll in Hoover - hooray!

vols1990 writes:

Delmonico had issues with APR requirements, which flowed into raleigh's time as head coach and made things hard for him from the start. not an excuse for raleigh, but rather a reason why delmonico was let go.

uttcut writes:

GBO

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to Outdated:

I never understood the firing of Delmonico..I like that Serrano has been at UT before..appears to be a good move...

He was inconsistant, either really good or really bad, he was not the nicest guy in the world either, and when speculation began to develop about his job he basically dared Hamilton to fire him, so Hamilton did.

HoraceMorris writes:

Excellent hire. It's about time somebody over there hire a proven winner instead of all these up-and-comers. Nothing wrong with them, but we have a bad run of them. Looks Joan needs to be the permanent AD if she had anything to do with this.

Orange_Juiced writes:

Good hire...Our house is slowly but surely coming to order. One more hire...and hopefully a not so harsh ruling from Indy...and then we'll be on the road to recovery.

Peace and GBO!

40cap writes:

Serrano's got the discs!!! Movie quote test.

robvols#366273 writes:

Impressive.

RoadTrip writes:

BOOM!

Orange_Juiced writes:

in response to easleychuck:

So the naysayers are going to bring up the junk about him not having an acredited degree.

We are hiring a baseball coach not a professor. Good luck, Dave.

And now we know why Holbrook made such a big deal about getting an interview and then asking to no longer to be considered.

He wasn't offered the job.

Sounds like Cronan gave Holbrook a slap down with the speedy announcement. Good PR.

huntined#565710 writes:

SERRANO!!! YES

OldVolFan13 writes:

Joan and UT have hit a home run! Book it!

kevin151 writes:

Good Hire!!! No Wonder, Hamilton is gone!

mtowntim writes:

in response to easleychuck:

So the naysayers are going to bring up the junk about him not having an acredited degree.

We are hiring a baseball coach not a professor. Good luck, Dave.

And now we know why Holbrook made such a big deal about getting an interview and then asking to no longer to be considered.

He wasn't offered the job.

yep

BradleyJKinkaid writes:

in response to HoraceMorris:

Excellent hire. It's about time somebody over there hire a proven winner instead of all these up-and-comers. Nothing wrong with them, but we have a bad run of them. Looks Joan needs to be the permanent AD if she had anything to do with this.

I agree and have been thinking the very same thing.

Cronan for AD at UT!!!

I think she could do class job.

rockytop4ever writes:

This is a great day fot UT baseball. Cal State is a top notch program and has been for years. This guy knows how to win and also knows UT sports traditions. Wonder if old Hammy would have picked the same guy....my guess is not a chance.

FearlessFreep writes:

in response to 40cap:

Serrano's got the discs!!! Movie quote test.

Nice Midnight Run reference.

ALL_VOL75 writes:

in response to Orange_Juiced:

Sounds like Cronan gave Holbrook a slap down with the speedy announcement. Good PR.

Thats what I was thinking! Way to "play ball" Joan! Im so glad shes getting the opportunity to run our AD even if it is a short term thing. She is a Class Act, and V4L.

scvols writes:

CWS here we come!!!!

VolzsFan writes:

Good to see UT being smart enough to try and bring back the magic that Rod created and undoing the destruction of the athletic department Hamilton did.

tennrich1 writes:

Smart move by Holbrook to remove his name at the right time...I don't think anyone would debate the fact this was our man from the very start...Great job Coach Cronan and committee....this is...dare I say it....A HOME RUN?????

40cap writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Nice Midnight Run reference.

Thank You, I can't resist saying that every time I hear his name.

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And honestly, a much better hire than the team of Little Willie Muskrat and Cheeseburger Charlie!

SummittsCourt writes:

The best and in my book the only choice!

See what a new AD who knows what she is doing can do.

Way to go Joan and welcome aboard Dave!

CCLC writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

The best and in my book the only choice!

See what a new AD who knows what she is doing can do.

Way to go Joan and welcome aboard Dave!

Slow down Disney Vol....he hasn't done anything yet.

clvolfan writes:

Fianlly, maybe a grandslam.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I don't know much about baseball coaches, but it sounds like this is a slam dunk hire..His overall record speaks for itself, plus I think he is capable of getting the Vols to the CWS.

And for the troll that make the smarta@@ remark about Dooley...The truth is you don't know for sure how good the hire was yet because none of us do after one season..We will see after this coming year..I think it will turn out to be a good hire, but only time will tell, NOT YOU!!

VOLsince68 writes:

Awesome news!! Great hire.

GO VOLS!!!!!

PHAT_VOL writes:

Great Hire, Welcome Coach

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to CCLC:

Slow down Disney Vol....he hasn't done anything yet.

I'm not disney Vol and check his record and stop being a debbie downer you clown!

Head Coaching Record
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
UC Irvine Anteaters (Big West Conference) (2005–2007)

2005 UC Irvine 31–25 10–11 5th
2006 UC Irvine 36–24 11–10 3rd NCAA Regional

2007 UC Irvine 47–17–1 15–6 T–2nd College World Series

UC Irvine: 114–66–1 36–27
Cal State Fullerton Titans (Big West Conference) (2008–2011)

2008 Cal State Fullerton 41–22 16–8 T–1st NCAA Super Regional

2009 Cal State Fullerton 47–16 17–7 2nd College World Series

2010 Cal State Fullerton 46–18 21–3 1st NCAA Super Regional

2011 Cal State Fullerton 41–17 19–5 1st NCAA Regional

Cal State Fullerton: 175–73 73–23
Tennessee Volunteers (Southeastern Conference) (2011–present)

2011 Tennessee 0–0 0–0 (East)
Tennessee: 0–0 0–0
Total: 289–139–1

NashvillePreds writes:

FINALLY! Some positive BIG ORANGE news!

rootin4volz writes:

Great hire! Love it!

Atuss writes:

Besides Pat Murphy this is the best hire UT baseball could hope for. Serrano will definitely help attract quality pitching and will give UT some recruiting inroads back in California. Would not be surprised to see one of his current assistants come with him. He may very well retain Ash Lawson and if not will hire an assistant who has heavy Southeast recruiting ties.

govolshw writes:

Great hire!

Vote for the Vols...http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/post/...

TKO writes:

Good news for a change. Hopefully UT has a solid contract so we retain him.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

So...what can you guys tell those of us not in the know about Dave Serrano?

He's a great recruiter and really high winning percentage. Exactly what we need.

FWBVol writes:

Where is CantStandSaban now?

It would seem we never offered Holbrook so he could not have turned the job down.

I think Holbrook could have done a nice job at UT, but I think Serrano will do a great job. I don't think any of us doubt that he was probably the top target all along and it was only a matter of getting through last weekend before it was a done deal.

Welcome Home Dave!!!

RoadTrip writes:

Rocky Top is about "ta see sumpthin' dey ain't neva seen bafo!" (Movie title, flick freaks?)

I have been calling for Dave since early in the past season. He's in his prime as a coach and will be very happy on Rocky Top with his family while making top tier bucks. Seems like we have been wondering in the wilderness forever. Starting to see lots of good things happening for a change.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Where is CantStandSaban now?

It would seem we never offered Holbrook so he could not have turned the job down.

I think Holbrook could have done a nice job at UT, but I think Serrano will do a great job. I don't think any of us doubt that he was probably the top target all along and it was only a matter of getting through last weekend before it was a done deal.

Welcome Home Dave!!!

On sports talk radio this morning they suggested the reason Holbrook took his name out of consideration was because he was made aware Serrano was the likely hire. So my guess is Holbrook did a counter-offensive to protect himself from rejection. The 'you can't fire me... I quit' mentality.

walt23tn writes:

in response to HoraceMorris:

Excellent hire. It's about time somebody over there hire a proven winner instead of all these up-and-comers. Nothing wrong with them, but we have a bad run of them. Looks Joan needs to be the permanent AD if she had anything to do with this.

Agreed

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