Williams bounced back from his chat with Serrano looking sharp, retiring the next three batters he faced, two by strikeout. Following the diamond Vols' March 7 win over Ball State, Serrano explained his visit with Williams.
"That's why I went out to the mound, his body language after giving up a couple of hits bothered me," Serrano said. "I just wanted him to get back on his own side, no need to panic, no need to get down on himself. It's not like he was making bad pitches, in fact I took the blame for it, I went out there and told him it was my fault. It's true, I made some bad calls on pitches."
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"I had a chat with coach, he reassured me that I was a good pitcher," said Vols pitcher Nick Blount following a Feb. 16 win over Seton Hall that saw Blount give up two early runs before settling to record five consecutive scoreless frames. "After giving up those early runs he really reassured me that I could hang in there, I just need to calm down and pitch for contact, coach reminded me of that. Then I went out there and did it."
What Serrano brings to the new-look 2012 Vols team that cannot be measured in wins or losses.
"I love his energy, I love the guy," Blount said following a win over Northern Illinois. "I'd run through a wall for that guy and this team, and I know I'm not the only one that thinks that. He has put that mentality in each of us. Now that we have him, I can't imagine what pitching or playing would be like without him."
♦ Vols looking to Omaha under Serrano (collegebaeballdaily.com, 11/14/2011)
Can Knoxville, Tennessee become the hotbed of college baseball in the SEC?♦ Dave Serrano Exposed (rivals.com)
If new Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano has anything to do with that, it will happen under his watch. The Vols baseball program has had some tough times over the last couple of years. They finished the 2011 season with a 25-29 record and a 7-23 SEC record for a last place finish.
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Serrano boasted “I took this Tennessee job with one goal in mind: bring this team to Omaha.”
This is an interesting message board thread that sheds some light on what kind of coach Dave Serrano is. Given it's a message board, take the comments with a grain of biased salt, of course.
USC Jordan: Coach Serrano is very good with the media but I think in the long run he will be exposed for being just an OK coach. I know many on this board will disagree with me but let me point out a few things.
I believe Coach Serrano won at Irvine with many of Coach Savage’s players, when he went to the CWS. More importantly he won because there are just so many players in Southern California he had a lot to select from.
While at Fullerton he went to JUST one CWS. Those players that took him were George Horton and Coach Vanderhook recruits.
I will give Coach Serrano 4 years (not 2 or 3) and everyone will see his University of Tennessee team will be nowhere close to the top of the SEC. In fact I predict he will leave for another school due to the fact he will see the writing on the wall.
Baseballslife1: My son played for Coach and you are way off base. He has never come across as a guy that thinks he is the next coming. I believe he took over a last place program UT that hasn't won in years. I believe his UCI CWS team was made up of guys that he had brought into program(Gorgen,Orloff,Holiday,Pettis,Madigan,Morris,Bibona,Vaughn and more) that Savage never had anything to do with. I do believe many of "his guys" continued to win at UCI. He went to Fullerton and kept winning with yes maybe some of Horton's and Hooks guys and some of his own.
2Bulldogs: As a person on the inside for Dave Serrano's last full year at UCI, I cannot see any accuracy in the statements you made.
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My son was one of those who came in during the fall of 2006 for his freshman year. Starting with Bergey and Coach Serrano and continuing with Coach Gillespie and Pat Shine, they helped make him into a fine student and then baseball player who became a four year starter and an excellent student (my son receives his Masters this June). To a parent, when a son or daughter is away at school, the value of a mentor is priceless, especially for the parent of a student-athlete. Coach Serrano was excellent and as a mentor and teacher beyond baseball.
Finally, as for what might happen at Tennessee four years from now...only time will tell. Knowing the man as I do, I'm betting on him and a return to the postseason. Be it always remembered, that 2007 class, from a program just six years revived from oblivion, went to the College World Series, and they were virtually ALL Dave Serrano kids (he started recruiting in the fall of 2004). It was Dave Serrano and his staff which developed ALL of those players and it was Dave Serrano and his coaches that finally led those kids on an emotional and remembered bus-ride up the hill (to Rosenblatt) when they first arrived in Omaha. By that time, Coach Savage was in his third year-plus at UCLA.