Cal State Fullerton is now announcing it officially: Dave Serrano is the Titans’ new head baseball coach. Serrano signed a four-year contract today, and the Titans will have a reception for him Monday.
“It is a dream job,” Serrano told Baseball America on Friday afternoon. “When you know you’ve got to stay in Southern California because of your family situation, this is one of the top baseball programs to be a head coach for in Southern California, or all of California–or even the country. When you start talking about elite baseball programs in the country, Fullerton’s going to fall in the top five every year. I feel honored to follow in the footsteps of Larry Cochell, Augie Garrido and George Horton. It’s an honor and a privilege to go back and lead the Cal State Fullerton program.”
Serrano said he did not consider taking the job until he was informed that longtime Titans assistant Rick Vanderhook was no longer a candidate.
“That was the only time I started getting interested in the position,” Serrano said. “When I was informed Wednesday night by (CSF athletics director) Brian Quinn that Rick was not going to be given the opportunity and they were probably going to go in another direction, I felt I wanted to keep it in the family, and if it was there for the taking, I needed to go get it.
“Him and I have communicated through text message. I’m allowing him some space right now–I can’t even imagine the emotions he’s going through right now. My heart feels for him, and hopefully by tomorrow we’ll be able to connect and talk through it, and reconnect our friendship, which is very important to me.”
Serrano said it remained up in the air who his assistants would be, but that his first obligation is to his two assistants at UC Irvine, Sergio Brown and Greg Bergeron. He said he was informed that Irvine is going to conduct a national coaching search, but he hopes Brown or Bergeron is a candidate for the job. If both assistants decide they want to follow Serrano to Fullerton, and Vanderhook decides he wants to remain as well, Serrano will have to choose between the three coaches for two spots.
Serrano also confirmed that uncertainty surrounding UC Irvine’s commitment to athletics played a significant role in his decision to leave. UC Irvine’s previous athletics director, Bob Chichester, cited budget cuts and a lack of commitment to athletics by Chancellor Michael V. Drake as reasons for resigning in August. UCI is in the midst of a search for Chichester’s replacement, but no hire is expected for at least another month, according to Serrano.
“I wish I had a crystal ball to look into the future and see how everything’s going to play out with the administration and their total commitment to athletics over there,” Serrano said. “I couldn’t take that chance, knowing there’s a job in hand with an athletics director in place that wanted me to take that program into the future. The changing of the guard over there really put the fear of God into me.”
The hardest part of the decision, though, was leaving the players at Irvine.
“To tell those (players) that I wasn’t going to be their head coach, that I was moving down the road to be the coach at Cal State Fullerton, I could see there was a lot of confusion, and probably some betrayal,” Serrano said.
“It’s been an emotional 48 hours, it might not go away for a while, but I know when I put on that ‘F’ hat and go back to work next week sometime, it’ll be a different emotion. It’ll be happiness and joy to be leading Cal State Fullerton.”
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog