Vols name Dave Serrano baseball coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee has hired Cal State Fullerton coach Dave Serrano as the Volunteers' new baseball head coach.

Joan Cronan, interim vice chancellor for athletics, announced the hiring Wednesday. Serrano will be introduced at a news conference Thursday.

"Dave is a proven winner and is a perfect fit as the head baseball coach at the University of Tennessee," Cronan said in a 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."

Serrano, 46, returns to the program where he had his first Division I job as an assistant coach between 1995 and 1996. His first trip to Omaha came with the 1995 Vols featuring Todd Helton and R.A. Dickey. He is one of 11 coaches to take two different programs to the College World Series and has a career record of 289-139-1 in seven seasons as a Division I coach.

He led UC Irvine to the 2007 CWS in his third season, and he led Cal State Fullerton to Omaha in 2009.

"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. "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."

He takes over a program where Todd Raleigh was fired on May 23 after he failed to lead the Vols to a single Southeastern Conference tournament or NCAA tournament in his four seasons. The Vols went 25-29 this season, including a 7-23 SEC mark. Tennessee went 108-113 over Raleigh's four seasons.

It marked a big drop for a program that had gone to the College World Series three times in 18 seasons under Rod Delmonico.

Serrano has been part of 16 postseason teams in his 17 Division I seasons with seven first-round draft picks in his coaching career, which started at Cerritos College in 1988. He also was pitching coach for the USA Baseball collegiate national team in 2010.