After three disappointing seasons for the Tennessee Baseball team, the powers of be at the University aimed at the fences for their next hire.
Interim Athletic Director Joan Cronan and the Tennessee Baseball search committee not aimed at the fences but hit a grand slam by hiring proven winner and former UT Coach Dave Serrano as its 24th head Baseball Coach.
"Dave is a proven winner and is a perfect fit as the head baseball coach at the University of Tennessee," said interim vice chancellor for athletics Joan Cronan. "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."
It didn't take long during Thursday's press conference in the Vols Baseball VIP Room that Serrano was definitely the right man for the job.
"It's Baseball Time at Tennessee," Serrano said after his introduction. "I can't tell you how happy and excited I am to be the Head Baseball Coach at Tennessee."
Serrano spent two years on Rod Delmonico's staff in the 90's, a time that the veteran coach remembers very fondly.
"I never left this place," Serrano told a packed room. "Physically we left, but mentally I have always remained here. I have always been a big Vol fan, I have kept up with the ups and downs of the football team, Tee Martin leading my team to a national championship, I have kept up with all my Vols. Tennessee has always held a special place in my heart."
During those two years as an assistant coach at Rocky Top UT went 97-36, won back-to-back SEC titles and advanced to a College World Series in Serrano's two years with the program It's also obvious that Serrano doesn't plan on making any excuses for his team's play in the near future.
"It will be a process to get where we want to be," Serrano said. "We will be disciplined, we will play hard and we will all play for the name on the front of the shirt and not the one on the back.'
In fact Serrano explained that the player's name plates will be removed from the Vol's uniforms.
"The will to win is more important than the skills to win," Serrano said. "We will play as a team and we will work extremely hard at everything we do. There is no excuses not to win here at the University of Tennessee."
Serrano said after the press conference that his longtime second man in charge at Cal State Fullerton and at Cal Irvine Greg Bergeron is planning on joining him in Knoxville.
Bergeron finished his fourth season as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton and handled the offense from the third base coaching box. In addition to his offensive duties, Bergeron also spearheads the Titans recruiting efforts and is in charge of the Titan infielders.
Bergeron, 40, came to Fullerton in 2008 with Head Coach Dave Serrano after three successful seasons as the third base coach at Big West Conference rival UC Irvine.
According to Serrano the third coach will be someone with Tennessee ties and has an understanding of the Southeast.