InsideTennessee goes 1-on-1 with Serrano

Will Dave Serrano be the next Head Baseball Coach at the University of Tennessee? InsideTennessee caught up with Serrano Friday and got his thoughts on the UT Baseball program. Go "Inside" to find out what the veteran coach had to say and his expectations for the Tennessee program.

To be a successful head baseball coach at the Division 1 level you have to your focus at the task at hand.

That was apparent when InsideTennessee.com got the opportunity to get an one on one exclusive interview with Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Dave Serrano.

The veteran baseball skipper made it apparent from the onset of the interview, that his main objective and total focus was on his current baseball team. A squad that is 38-14 and is awaiting word where they will land in the NCAA College World Series Tournament of 64 teams.

"Right now all I'm focused on is my job at Cal State Fullerton," Coach Serrano said. "Out of respect to you I wanted to return your call, but I'm working very hard to take this team to the College World Series."

It was easy to see why Serrano has been so successful where ever he has coached, taking two seperate teams to the playoffs as the head coach and being a part of success while he was at the University of Tennessee.

How was your experience in Knoxville and your time at the University of Tennessee?

"It was incredible," Serrano said. "My heart always holds a special place for Tennessee for the time I spent there. After leaving I have continued to follow all the programs at Tennessee, the baseball team, the football team, and I love the leadership of Pat Summitt, I have kept up with her successes."

Serrano continued talking about Rocky Top.

"It's a special place," Serrano said. "It's been tough to see them struggle over the last few years. I know how the Tennessee fans are, they are incredible, they have high expectations."

The veteran coach understand those expectations and has some of his own for the University of Tennessee.

"There is no reason whatsoever that their baseball team should be in the SEC Tournament on a regular basis," Serrano said. "With their new facilities, that campus and the City of Knoxville there is no excuse for them not to be successful."

Serrano also has some thoughts on what it will take to return the program to prominence.

"You got to win back the community and their fan base back," Serrano said. "You have to get the excitement back into the program. Tennessee has an incredible fan base. Tennessee also has a tremendous alumnus base and there appears to be a disconnect there. You have to welcome all of those guys back and get them involved with your program."

While Serrano admits it will be a challenge for the next head coach at Tennessee, he feels it's definitely something that is capable of occurring.

"The sky is the limit there," Serrano said. "There is no reason that it can't happen there. It's definitely going to be a challenge for the next guy, playing in one of the best conferences in the country, but its doable."

Is Serrano that man?

Only time will tell, but as Serrano said on multiple occasions, his only focus and his only goal is to get the most out of his current team. He realizes that his Cal State Fullerton team controls it's own destiny, one that he hopes ends up in Omaha.

In all, Serrano has compiled a head coaching record of 248-122-1 (.670) and has averaged more than 41 wins a season in his six-year Div. I career. He has already notched milestone victories No. 200 on May 31, 2009, as the Titans punched their ticket to the 2009 Super Regional with a 16-3 over Utah at Goodwin Field, and will log No. 250 early in 2011.

Serrano earned his first career Big West Conference Coach of the Year nod in 2010 after guiding the Titans to a dominant 21-3 first-place finish. The year started off a bit shaky at 7-9, but Serrano quickly righted the ship and the team went on to win the last 11 weekend series and ascend to No. 7 in the nation in the national polls heading into the postseason.

Serrano received his first head coaching job in 2005 at UC Irvine and took the Anteater program to the College World Series in 2007.

Following that World Series appearance he was hired as the Head Coach at Cal State Fullerton. In his first three seasons at Fullerton he has led the Titans to a 134-56 record and a College World Series appearance in 2009.


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