MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Further evidence of West Virginia baseball’s rising profile, the program has filled an assistant’s vacancy with a former two-time College World Series head coach.
Dave Serrano was hugely successful at UC-Irvine and Cal State Fullerton, reaching the CWS in 2007 and 2009 before more recently enduring a difficult six-year stay at Tennessee. His head coaching record stands at 446-302 with six NCAA appearances and four trips to the super regionals.
Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com first reported the hire, which MetroNews confirmed through a source close to the WVU program.
West Virginia’s Randy Mazey had been on the hunt for a pitching coach after Derek Matlock left to take over the Texas-Rio Grande Valley program earlier this month.
In steps Serrano, 53, a valuable addition to a Mountaineers team coming off its first NCAA tournament bid since 1996.
Serrano reportedly had been in talks with Arizona State about becoming the Sun Devils’ pitching coach.
“My ego is not too big,” Serrano told Knoxville’s WNML radio last month after resigning from Tennessee, where his record was 157-163. “I don’t need to be in a Power 5 conference. I don’t even need to be a head coach.
“I know how much I miss winning at the level I did, and I want to get back to that. And that’s the kind of opportunity I’m going to look to. That’s what will attract me to that.”
Serrano earned $450,000 last season with the Vols. Details of what salary he’ll receive as a West Virginia assistant have not been confirmed.
Baseball America’s national coach of the year in 2007 when UC-Irvine earned its first trip to Omaha, Serrano developed 18 All-American pitchers during his stints on the West Coast.
That success didn’t translate at Tennessee, where facilities aren’t up to SEC standards and the Vols slumped to 55-120 in conference play. But Tennessee athletics director John Currie said Serrano has “a lot of winning” left in what has been a decorated career.
“I agree with him,” Serrano said. “There is a lot of winning. Unfortunately it didn’t happen at Tennessee, because that’s what I wanted to happen. When I took this (Tennessee) job, this is where I wanted to retire. Not everything happens the way you want it.
“I believe success is to follow me still, it just has to be the right situation.”