UC Irvine coach Dave Serrano, Baseball America’s 2007 Coach of the Year, is back in the mix for the head coaching job at Oregon after originally taking his hat out of the ring following a face-to-face meeting with Oregon athletic director Pat Kilkenny in Southern California.
“It’s true, we’re in discussions,” Serrano said Thursday night. “We met three weeks ago, they offered for me and my wife to go visit, and we declined. But since then we’ve rekindled discussions.
“I want to emphasize that I’m extremely happy at UC Irvine, but I’d be neglecting the opportunity of a lifetime if I didn’t see what’s best for my career and family.”
Serrano said he will likely visit Eugene and talk more with Oregon officials early next week. Serrano and his family have plenty of roots in Southern California, but simply put, the resources available at Oregon dwarf the Anteaters’ capabilities. That economic disparity, plus the opportunity to have input in almost every facet of resuscitating a program that has been dormant since 1981, make this a very enticing job.
“I really think this is like an SEC job, it just happens to be on the West Coast,” Serrano said.
Expect Kilkenny and the Ducks to apply the full-court press to try to lock up Serrano, a true marquee coach who seems a great fit for Oregon because of his experience guiding the Anteaters to the College World Series in just the the sixth year since the program was reinstated (though John Savage deserves plenty of credit for starting the ‘Eaters from scratch and building a solid foundation for Serrano to expand upon).
Kilkenny is hell-bent on making a splash with this hire to lend the fledgling program instant credibility; it would be hard to make a bigger splash than locking up the reigning national Coach of the Year.
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