Dave Serrano wrapped up his fifth season at Tennessee earlier this week as the team lost to LSU in the SEC Tournament. He had originally signed a five-year contract to replace Todd Raleigh after his tumultuous time as the head of Tennessee's baseball program, which meant that as of June 30th this year his contract was up. Yesterday Athletic Director Dave Hart and Coach Serrano had a press conference to announce that they had reached an agreement on a one year contract extension.
While the product on the field has not rebounded to where everyone was hoping it would, in the classroom under Serrano the team has excelled. This past season the team posted the highest GPA in the history of the program, and the eight seniors on the team are the most since 2004. Hart also mentioned in the press conference that for three straight years the baseball team has broken their own records for basically every academic category (graduation rate, APR, ect.).
Serrano's record at Tennessee is:
|Year||Overall Record||SEC Record||SEC Tournament|
Serrano's tenure has seen the return of Tennessee to the SEC Tournament. The past three season the Vols have made the trip to Hoover, the first appearances there since 2007 in Rod Delmonico's final season. The three straight trips are also the first time that has happened since a stretch of five straight in the mid 1990's.
The largest roadblock in the rebuilding process under Coach Serrano has been how good the SEC has been. Since he took the helm the SEC has been first two times and second three times in conference RPI.
The new extension is for one season and takes over until the end of June next summer. According to Dave Hart, "Very simply stated, I still believe in Dave Serrano. I still think there is hope for us to turn the corner with our baseball program. This struggle is not confined to the Dave Serrano era. We have struggled to get baseball to where we all want it for many years. I'm not happy, and Dave Serrano is not happy with the results after year five. " Hart also mentioned that one reason for resigning Serrano was that he has never seen Coach Serrano cut a corner, and never saw the team quit.
Next season is going to be tough, as eight seniors have graduated (Tyler Schultz, Andy Cox, Jared Pruett, Derek Lance, Vincent Jackson, Chris Hall, Jeff Moberg, and Steven Kane). The team will also lose some very good juniors to the MLB draft as Nick Senzel is a projected top ten pick, and Jordan Rodgers and Kyle Serrano are among the other juniors eligible.
Hopefully the team will rebound next year and take a step forward.