Serrano introduced as Vols new baseball coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WVLT) -- Dave Serrano is back at Tennessee where he broke into the Division I coaching ranks as an assistant, and he doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon.

Tennessee introduced Serrano Thursday as the Volunteers' new baseball coach.

"I've been waiting two weeks to say this: it's baseball time in Tennessee!" Serrano exclaimed when he took the podium.

Serrano says he has come full circle and plans on Tennessee being his last job. He also says the Vols will succeed, even if it takes a little bit of time.

"I think the sky's the limit," Serrano said. "There will be some challenges down the line but we'll work hard to overcome those challenges. We're not as far as you think."

Tennessee fired Todd Raleigh in May after the Vols failed to reach the Southeastern Conference tournament in his four seasons. Serrano has led both UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton to the College World Series as head coach.

"At UC Irvine it was just about collecting the right players and having them believe in the system," Serrano said. "If you can do that you can do anything once you get to the post-season."

Interim athletic director Joan Cronan says Serrano understands Tennessee and believes the university has hired a great coach.

"To have the opportunity to hire a baseball coach was absolutely thrilling," Cronan said. "Once I met dave I knew I could hit a home run."

Serrano said his coaching philosophy focuses on three traits: discipline, character and effort.

"This program is gonna be filled with controlling what we can control," Serrano said. "If you have those three things, you have a chance to be a champion in everything we're trying to succeed in."

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