One week into his tenure at USC, athletic director Pat Haden continued his housecleaning today, relieving head baseball coach Chad Kreuter of his duties, replacing him with interim coach Frank Cruz, who had been an assistant under Kreuter.
"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," said Haden. "There is no reason we shouldn’t be there.
"We thank Chad Kreuter for his four years of hard work and service, but this move was necessary to revitalize our program. USC is synonymous with college baseball. This is the most successful and tradition-laden program in the country. We’ve won twice as many College World Series titles (12) as anybody. We need to get back to our championship ways."
Kreuter, who was a major league catcher for 16 seasons with the Rangers, Tigers, Mariners, White Sox, Angels, Royals, and Dodgers, lasted four years as head baseball coach at USC, amassing a record of 111-117, but was just 39-63 in the Pac-10. Kreuter's Trojans never finished higher than fifth place in the conference.
Cruz, who was a USC assistant under former coach Mike Gillespie from 1993 to 1996, was head baseball coach at Loyola Marymount for 12 seasons before returning to USC two years ago.
"This is a bittersweet time for me," said Cruz. "I really enjoyed working for Chad Kreuter and I have the utmost respect for him. I hate to see him go. He put his heart and soul into coaching the USC baseball team.
"I have had a great devotion to Trojan baseball ever since I came here to work for Mike Gillespie. I want this program to succeed in every way possible. I will get to work immediately to continue to improve our program and I appreciate the opportunity given to me to do that."