NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Former LSU All-American Blake Dean is officially the Head Coach of the UNO baseball program. Dean served as an assistant with the Privateers the past two seasons before assuming an Interim Head Coach status at the conclusion of this past spring.
At his introductory press conference Tuesday, Dean said that he believes the program is moving in the right direction, and that he will set obtainable goals for his team. He promised that the Privateers will work harder than any other school in the Southland Conference, and he will continue to recruit local players.
"One of my biggest goals I want to achieve is I want to put up a fence around New Orleans again," Dean said. "I want to start getting the New Orleans guys to come back to UNO. Delgado has a great program there. I don't want to let the kids gets out the city any more."
Dean helped LSU win the 2009 National Championship. At just 27-years old, he will be one of the youngest head coaches in Division-I baseball. Dean said while he still has a lot to learn, and his age can be a positive.
"I can relate to the players on a level that most other guys can't," Dean said. "Most of these guys still remember when I played at LSU, so I think that gives me an edge. It gives me an in with those guys. You know I talked with (LSU) Coach (Paul) Mainieri last night, he said 'I had zero coaching experience when I was 25-years old and got my first coaching job'. He said 'go in there with confidence, energy and a belief you can do it. If you portray that, your players will buy in to what you're doing. They'll believe in you as well.'"
Dean replaces Ron Maestri, who came out of retirement in 2013 to revive a once successful UNO Privateer program. However the Privateers won just 25 games combined the past two seasons.
"Coach Maestri believed in me," Dean said. "He gave me an opportunity to succeed. And I couldn't thank him any more for that. I hope he knows that I'll continue to push this thing forward, and I will do everything that I can to make sure everyone remembers his legacy, and we can build it back to what it was."