David Perno Named Head Baseball Coach

Georgia assistant coach David Perno was named the school's new head baseball coach on Friday.

Perno, 34, met with University of Georgia athletics director Vince Dooley at the school's Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall athletic complex on Thursday night, only hours after Stetson head coach Pete Dunn withdrew his name from the search.

"David brings to the table several tangible and intangible qualities that we like," said Dooley. "First he was a player on the 1990 national championship team; he was head coach of a state championship American Legion team; he was an assistant coach on a junior college World Series team while at Middle Georgia; and he has been an assistant on our most recent College World Series team here at Georgia. He has been involved with championship baseball at all levels."

Perno replaces Ron Polk, who resigned at Georgia to return to Mississippi State for a second tenure as that school's head coach. Polk previously coached Mississippi State for 22 years (1976-97). Perno, an Athens, GA native, was a second baseman on Georgia's 1990 team that won the national championship. He has been an assistant coach at the school the past five seasons--the past two as Polk's hitting coach and chief recruiter.

"I am very appreciative of the opportunity Coach Dooley has given me and I feel privileged to lead the Georgia baseball program at a time when it is on the rise," said Perno. "I am excited about the opportunity to build on the momentum in the same town that I grew up in and at my alma mater."

Perno becomes the school's fourth head baseball coach in the last seven years. Following the firing of Steve Webber in 1996, former UGA player Robert Sapp was hired, and he lasted three seasons before being reassigned to another position in the athletics department by Dooley. Polk was hired before the 2000 season.

Perno and Dunn were two of the four finalists in the search. Minnesota's John Anderson and Winthrop's Joe Hudak also interviewed for the job.

Georgia had previously contacted Miami's Jim Morris, Tulane's Rick Jones, East Carolina's Keith LeClair, Baylor's Steve Smith and Florida State's Mike Martin about filling the position. Jones and Smith were reportedly offered the job. However, all those coaches agreed to new contracts with their current schools.

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