One of Tennessee’s flashiest hires of the past couple decades will be ending his tenure at the conclusion of this year.
Baseball coach Dave Serrano, who came to Tennessee following College World Series berths with both UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton, and after a prior stop as a UT assistant, will resign when the season ends, the school confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.
“On Monday evening, John and I had what I felt was a very honest and productive conversation about the Tennessee baseball program,” Serrano said via a press release. “My decision to step aside at season’s end is based off what I believe is in the best interest of our student-athletes and this program.
“I have no regrets about taking on this challenge six years ago. It was a job I always coveted. My time living in this great community includes some of the best days of my life. My only disappointment is that we didn’t reach the expectations of success that I’ve strived to achieve for our fans, alumni and players.”
Serrano will stay on for the remainder of the regular season and then will coach the Vols in the event they qualify for any postseason play. Assistant Larry Simcox will serve as the interim coach during what Tennessee calls a “national” search to find the program’s next baseball coach.
Serrano leaves Tennessee with a 157-160 overall mark. The Vols finished last in the SEC East in all but one of his full seasons in Knoxville thus far, and UT never qualified for the college baseball tournament under his watch.
Viewed by many as a slam-dunk hire to replace Todd Raleigh in 2011, Serrano, a former National Coach of the Year, leaves Knoxville with a cumulative SEC record of 55-116. Serrano clearly upgraded the talent level within the program, signing six straight top-20 recruiting class and helping 14 of his players get drafted during his time at UT, and there was also substantial progress in team GPA and APR numbers, but Serrano leaves Tennessee in a similar spot in terms of on-field results as his predecessor.
“This program clearly means a great deal to Dave, and I appreciate that,” athletics director John Currie said. “He steps away with plenty to be proud of. The program possesses a talented and promising young core. And the culture of academic achievement he and his staff fostered yielded positive results in terms of APR scores and graduation success rates.
“We are thankful to him for his service to the University of Tennessee, and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”
“I’m very proud of what we accomplished with the program internally, but I realize it ultimately comes down to wins and losses,” Serrano added. “I will always be a big Vol fan and will continue to support and cheer on this great university.”
Currie now has a pair of vacant coaching positions – head baseball coach and men’s tennis coach – to fill within in his first two months on the job in Knoxville.