It was the "perfect fit" for Tennessee, according to interim Athletic Director Joan Cronan.

In baseball terms, it was a home run hire.

UT lured Dave Serrano away from Cal State Fullerton — a perennial national title contender — to rebuild the Vols baseball program.

Serrano previously sat in the UT dugout as an assistant coach from 1995-96, his first Division I coaching job.

"I never left this place," he said during his introductory press conference Thursday afternoon.

After a 15-year journey, which included the past seven years as the head coach at UC-Irvine, then Cal State Fullerton, 46-year-old Serrano has rounded third base and walked into home.

"I've come full circle, and I plan on this being my last job," he said.

UT needed someone who would not just turn the program around, but one who would lead the Vols back to being an elite program.

Who better than someone who was a part of the most successful season in school history?

In Serrano's first season in Knoxville, the 1995 Diamond Vols won a school-record 54 games and made it to the College World Series for the first time ever.

Serrano has gone back to Omaha as well — twice as a head coach, with UC-Irvine in 2007 and with Cal State Fullerton in 2009.

Looking ahead, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Serrano leads the Vols to college baseball's holy ground.

In fact, it would be surprising if he doesn't at some point.

Still, the rebuilding job must first take place. UT would have to make the SEC Tournament and play in an NCAA Regional in order to reach the College World Series, something that hasn't happened in five seasons.

Winning an opening press conference doesn't guarantee future success — though Serrano certainty did that Thursday — and a home run hire doesn't guarantee championships.

Yet, Serrano has proven himself a winner both times he's been given a head coaching opportunity.

Tennessee fans are hoping this home run hire translates into home run success for the baseball program.

It would make for the "perfect fit" at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.