KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart announced during Thursday’s media session that Tennessee Baseball Head Coach Dave Serrano has been offered and agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2016-17 baseball season.
“Dave Serrano will head into his sixth season this coming year as the head baseball coach at the University of Tennessee,” Hart said. “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. But I have had the opportunity to observe up-close-and-personal, as we’ve gone through what was the fifth and final season in Dave’s existing contract, and never once did I see Dave Serrano cut a corner. And I never saw our team quit. Those are signs that the hope might be gone, but those signs never reared their heads.
“Dave Serrano is good for this community,” Hart continued. “He has done what you would expect a head coach to do in terms of — in this case — helping young men grow into adults. He never compromised his own values while he has gone about that task. Now we all know, and all coaches know, there comes a time when you have to produce in the field of competition. You have to recruit better, you have to coach better, you have to assess better and all of those things are true of any sport or head coach.”
Following Dave Hart’s comments, Dave Serrano addressed the media.
“It goes without saying but today is a great day and I’m very grateful,” Dave Serrano said. “There are times in life when you feel good that people trust in you, they believe in you, they listen to you and they understand what you’re trying to do. Dave Hart and I have had two lengthy and very informative meetings over the last week and [I am grateful for] him putting his faith in me and how he feels I am as a baseball coach.
“No, we haven’t won enough. We haven’t won enough that satisfies me, for sure. But with the direction in which I’m trying to take this program and how I’m trying to lead these young men, the winning is going to happen. I’m very confident about that. This is the only place I want to be. I’m grateful for the support that I’ve had out there, from the fans and friends. Nobody out there wants this program to be successful for all of the right reasons more than I do. I’m very happy and again, grateful, to continue to lead this great program.”