After two consecutive last place finishes in the Pac-10, Chad Kreuter was fired today as head baseball coach at USC the Los Angeles Times is reporting. In his tenure, Kreuter amassed an unimpressed record of 111-117 over four years as USC, one of the most stories programs in college baseball history, fell to the cellar of the competitive Pac-10. Volunteer assistant Frank Cruz will serve as the interm manager for the 2011 campaign.
The official announcement came from Athletic Director Pat Haden about a half hour after The Times first reported the story. Haden is in his second week on the job at USC, and this is his first major coaching change.
“On my first day on the job at USC last week, I said one of my goals was to return the USC baseball program to national prominence,” Haden said in a statement released by the school. “We need to get back to our championship ways.”
Without a doubt, a change was needed to shake things up with the baseball program. Given USC’s standing as a traditional powerhouse, there was no reason for back to back last place finishes. Already, Yahoo! Sports is reporting that several “prominent” coaches have expressed interest in the job.
Although Kreuter brought in an impressive recruiting class this year, his record did not warrant another season. Dedeaux Field is such a beautiful facility, but the attendance is lackluster. Part of the reason students don’t flock to the beautiful park is the team’s poor performance. In many conference series last year, USC wasn’t even competitve: most notably the sweep at the hands of California. There is talent on the roster, and hopefully Cruz will be able to maximize it and restore USC back among the west coast powerhouses.