KNOXVILLE - Tennessee's baseball program got its man.
UT announced the hiring of Cal State Fullerton's Dave Serrano as its new baseball coach on Wednesday afternoon. Serrano, who's taken two different schools to the College World Series in the past decade.
He becomes the Volunteers' 24th baseball coach, replacing Todd Raleigh, who was fired in May after missing the Southeastern Conference tournament for the fourth consecutive year.
"Dave is a proven winner and is a perfect fit as the head baseball coach at the University of Tennessee," interim athletic director Joan Cronan said in a UT release. "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."
UT will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. on Thursday to introduce Serrano, who took the Titans to Omaha in 2009 after taking California-Irvine there in 2007. Serrano was an assistant coach at UT for two season (1995-96). The Vols, behind current Major Leaguers Todd Helton and R.A. Dickey, reached the World Series in 1995.
"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. 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."
In his 17 years as a Division I coach, Serrano has been to the postseason 16 times.
More coverage online, on Twitter and in Thursday's Times Free Press.