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Tennessee names Tony Asaro as Assistant Coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano dipped into his extensive base of former players to round out his staff for the 2012-13 campaign, hiring Tony Asaro as the program’s volunteer assistant coach.

“We are very excited about adding Tony to our staff,” Serrano said. “He is an up-and-coming young coach with a lot of energy, enthusiasm and drive, which I believe will be a great benefit to our team. As a former player of mine, he fully understands the expectations and goals we have established for this program and will play an integral role in helping us achieve them.”

A former pupil of Serrano, as well as Greg Bergeron and Gregg Wallis, at UC-Irvine, Asaro has spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at El Camino College where he was the team’s hitting instructor, recruiting coordinator and third-base coach.

“I was one of the fortunate few to have the opportunity to get a chance to play for Coach Serrano, Coach Bergeron and Coach Wallis,” Asaro said. “To play for those three coaches and now have the opportunity to come out here and coach with them and Coach Mo was not something I was going to pass up and I am extremely excited about it.

“The feeling of trust and the family environment is very unique to our program. It’s something that we strive for and build our program around. It’s not every day an opportunity like this comes around, so when the phone call came there was no hesitation and I’m glad to be a part of the Big Orange family.”

Asaro will be in charge of working with the Volunteer outfielders, assist associate head coach Greg Bergeron with the squad’s offense and man the first base coaching box. He fills the spot left by former director of baseball operations Kenny Gajewski who is now an assistant softball coach at Florida. The volunteer assistant for UT last year, Wallis will slide over to the director of operations position.

After playing for the 2006 West Coast Conference champion Pepperdine, Asaro transferred to UC Irvine which he helped reach the College World Series for the first time in school history in 2007. The next season, the Anteaters advanced to the Super Regionals at LSU. Asaro was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 47th round of the 2008 MLB Draft but elected to return to school for his senior season. He played for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots that summer as well, winning the Alaska Baseball League before participating in the NBC World Series.

Prior to his collegiate career, Asaro was selected to the 2003 USA National Team Trials and also played for the American Samoa National team participating in the World Baseball Challenge in 2002 in Grand Forks, British Colombia. He was also a four-year varsity letterwinner at West Torrance High School where he won three Bay League championships and the El Segundo tournament championship. Asaro was named All-Bay League all four years and all-area three times.

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