Kendall Rogers of Rivals has posted his latest mailbag where he discusses issues and questions about college baseball. This week he fields a question about the Arizona Wildcats, how UC-Irvine dragged their feet in the coaching search, checks in on some of the mid-majors around the nation, and has a nice response about why ESPN does not cover more college baseball. The full article is available here.
The report breaks the news that Cal State Los Angeles coach Pat Shine will serve as an assistant to Gillespie and run the program. You can read Kendall Roger’s article here.
According to sources Coach Gillespie has decided to get back into coaching after 15 months lay off. It has not been made official yet but UC-Irvine will announce the new coach of the Anteaters as Mike Gillespie real soon. Coach Gillespie comes to UC-Irvine after spending 20 years at USC and winning a National Championship back in 1998. This sets up a family rivalry with USC as his son-in-law Chad Kreuter took over the Trojans job in 2007.
More Details to come soon.
– A rundown of the issues for SEC teams in 2008
– The same rundown for Big 12 squads
– A pre-Fall listing of the top 25 teams heading into the next season (not really a top 25, but rather a 25 teams to watch, listed in alphabetical order).
In his latest Mailbag, Kendall also discusses Irvine, Wake Forest, Oregon and Oregon State, and the differences between Fresno State and San Diego.
Mark Etheridge of SEBaseball.com checks in with an article about many different topics. The first topic which is discussed is the whole Oregon/UC-Irvine/Fullerton musical chair act that has been going on all summer including Rod Delmonico (former head coach at Tennessee) throwing his name in the hat at UC-Irvine. The next topic discussed is how Dave Perno of UGA has had to change up his staff for the 2008 season with an assistant coach moving on to a different school. He finishes up the article by talking about some of winners and losers in the summer in getting transfers. The full article is available here.
The Daily Pilot wrote an article this weekend on Dave Serrano leaving UC-Irvine for Fullerton. The article discusses some of the reasons Serrano left Irvine for Fullerton which is led by the fact that the Irvine athletic department is currently operating without an athletic director. Serrano also states that Cal-State Fullerton athletic director Brian Quinn spoke with him in 2004 when Serrano left for Irvine and told him that he would be the next coach at Fullerton if Horton ever left. Quinn also reiterated this at Rosenblatt Stadium when the Anteaters were making their magical run. The article also discusses that former Tennessee coach Rod Delmonico has already been in contact with Serrano about taking over the Irvine job. The full article is available here.
As Brian reported earlier Dave Serrano has agreed to terms with Fullerton. Dave has signed a 4 year contract to be the new coach at Fullerton. Dave will bring over Sergio Brown from Irvine as an assistant.
For more on the story follow the link.
With Dave going to Fullerton where will Irvine start looking. Dave did not leave the cupboard empty with a team expected to compete for a conference and national championship in 2008.
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.
Baseball America is reporting that Dave Serrano will accept the head coaching position with Cal-State Fullerton after saying last week that he was going to stay at UC-Irvine. The article from Baseball America is available here. The College Baseball Blog will have more information as it becomes available.
UC Irvine head baseball coach Dave Serrano has been quick to dispel any speculation that he would be interested in the Cal State Fullerton head position with the Titans’ George Horton accepting the Oregon job. Serrano was Fullerton’s pitching coach for eight years prior to accepting the UCI head-coaching position in 2004.
“I have no interest in leaving UC Irvine for Cal State Fullerton,” Serrano said. “I feel that we have something special building at UCI with the program moving in the right direction. Fullerton is a great program and I have many enjoyable memories from there but my family and I are very happy in Irvine.”
Watch for Ted Silva pitching coach for Fresno State and Bryant Ward hitting coach from South Florida. This two guys could very well end up on a new staff here in the next week or so.
Ted Silva Played for CSF in the early 90’s and the was drafted by the Rangers and was in their organization for 5 years. Prior to being the pitching coach at Fresno State Ted over saw the pitching staff at CSF ’04-’05 as a volunteer assistant. Bryant Ward played and graduated from East Carolina before going to CSF to be an volunteer assistant.
The University of Oregon announced on July 13th that they were bringing back baseball to the Eugene school after a 26 year absence. The school ended up dropping the wrestling program and adding competitive cheerleading to the athletic program. The reason that was quoted by the Oregon athletic department to add baseball was that the sport is seeing increased growth across the country.
I believe that this is true in the suburbs but Baseball has seen a major decrease in urban areas. The main reason is the increasing cost in competing on select teams which in some communities start before the age of 12 when a kid in the city of Miami can go play a game of basketball for weeks on end at the playground for 20 bucks with a decent basketball. I would like my readers to drive by a baseball field this weekend and see how many kids are playing on their local Little League field. Also, look at the Little League World Series and see how many African-American kids participated in the final eight. There was a report on Say Hey which is one of the top sports blogs on the internet that only two out of the eight US teams had any African American kids. (Click here for article). The other experiment is to look at a MLB baseball game and see how many players are minorities from United States. You will be surprised with how low it actually is.
The other problem I see with Oregon adding baseball is that the wrestlers at the school now will have to transfer to continue their athletic careers and possibly make the Olympic team. Baseball has been removed from the Olympics starting in 2012 due to the lack of interest in the sport around the world. We did see a very well attended World Port Tournament in Holland this summer with over 3,000 people attending some of Team USA games but we also saw the debacle which was the Pan-American games. During that tournament, we saw multiple delays with the field due to poor drainage and even had the tournament readjusted a day before it started due to insufficient lighting.
The final problem I have with Oregon is that they couldn’t support baseball 26 years ago. What has changed in Eugene to say they can support a Pac-10 team? They currently have no stadium and need to build a brand new facility.
I also think that the Oregon Athletic Department is aiming way too high with the help of Phil Knight for a new head coach. The Oregon Athletic Department has already interviewed Tim Corbin and planned on bringing in Dave Serrano before he backed out. There was some reports on the Internet that Phil Knight had earmarked so much money that whoever took the job would be one of the top five coaches in the nation in terms of salary. Why has Oregon not looked at some of the top assistants on the West Coast instead of a current head coach? How many top head coaches are going to leave a successful place to restart a program which will not have the full usage of scholarships until 2011-2012 season?
I just felt like sharing my thoughts on the situation in Eugene and hope that the Oregon program will be a success but they need to overcome the obstacles I have outlined above.