OH HAPPY DAY. I'm a little out of my element and uncomfortable in a world in which Vanderbilt is the sports standard, but after watching Dave Serrano's introductory press conference, I'm willing to subscribe to the idea that hiring him to lead the UT baseball program out of the mire is a grand slam. He's not particularly polished at the podium, but he seems real and genuine, and most importantly, he appears legitimately thrilled to be transplanting from Southern Cal to East Tennessee. Lending additional credibility to that premise is his wife's post-presser interview:
The difference between that and the lasting plastic image I have of the wife/family of a certain former coach from the same part of the country is striking. And maybe it's my own particular situation right now influencing me, but all of this talk of dreams and passion really resonates with me. He said it was the little kid in him that caused him to trot his family through the Lindsey-Nelson infield when they arrived in Knoxville even though they didn't get in until the wee hours of the morning. I can identify. (Look, kids! There's paint on the walls!) And Serrano said he had no immediate answer for how he felt after winning the job, but woke with the realization the next day that he felt the same way he did after winning the College World Series years ago. In short, the man is happy to be here, and I'm happy to have him.
YOUR FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT TO US. The Wiz has an expense report on last year's Music City Bowl that includes the administrations' answers to survey questions. Valet parking gets a thumbs down from Mike Hamilton.
THE NEW PR STRATEGY: FIRST, CHOP OFF THE LEGS. Perhaps it's his experience as athletic director, but Derek Dooley appears to be one of the few who understand that withholding details of bad news only makes the story last longer.