Serrano leaves UCI for Fullerton

Baseball coach who led Anteaters to 2007 College World Series returns coaching job at Cal State Fullerton.

September 08, 2007|By Barry Faulkner

Dave Serrano, who coached the UC Irvine baseball program to its first Division I College World Series appearance in June, will leave the school to become head coach at Cal State Fullerton, where he played and worked as an assistant coach.

Serrano, who compiled a 114-66-1 record in three seasons at UCI, including 47-17-1 last season, a school record for wins, will replace George Horton, who left Fullerton after 11 seasons last week to become coach at Oregon.

Serrano had been a candidate at Oregon, before removing his name from consideration Aug. 22.

When Oregon hired Horton Aug. 31, Serrano released a statement through UCI stating he had no interest in returning to Fullerton, where he was pitching coach under Horton for eight seasons from 1997-2004.


“I have no interest in leaving UC Irvine for Cal State Fullerton,” Serrano said in that statement, produced hours after he learned that Horton was going to Oregon.

Serrano, however, changed his mind after learning that Rick Vanderhook, a longtime Horton assistant who was named associate head coach at Fullerton in June, would not be offered the head coaching job at Cal State Fullerton.

“When it was presented to me that the opportunity at Fullerton was not going to be given to Coach Vanderhook, then, and only then, did I start thinking I wasn’t going to let it pass,” Serrano said in a statement released by Cal State Fullerton Friday. “It’s great to be back.”

Serrano, named National Coach of the Year by Baseball America last season, will be formally introduced as Titans coach at a reception Monday at Cal State Fullerton’s Goodwin Field.

He has signed a contract with the Titans through the 2011 season.

Though eight UCI players moved on to the professional ranks from last year’s team, Serrano leaves behind a program expected to compete for the Big West Conference championship next season.

First-team all-conference pitcher Scott Gorgen, a third-team All-American, as well as second-team all-conference picks Ben Orloff, a shortstop, and Ollie Linton, a center fielder, are expected back.

UCI was recently named No. 2 among the top 10 rising programs in the nation by

Serrano’s team finished tied for second in the Big West last season, before catching fire in the postseason.

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