Entering his fourth season at Rocky Top, associate head coach Greg Bergeron is charged with continuing his installation of the “pressure” offense at Tennessee, leading the team’s on-field offensive efforts from the third base coaching box and tutoring the team’s infielders.
Bergeron, 44, has been Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano’s right-hand man for all ten of his seasons as head coach, including three at UC Irvine and four at Cal State Fullerton.
“Greg has been a huge part of any success that I have had as a head coach and I don’t expect that to change,” Serrano said. “He is one of the best offensive strategists in college baseball and has done a fabulous job of developing infielders into first-round picks and gritty, grinding players.”
In his first two years with the Vols, Bergeron oversaw the transformation of the UT offense into a system designed to put pressure on the opposing team’s defense through aggression, situational hitting and capitalizing on mistakes.
The effect has been obvious as the team has found ways to get on base any way it could, increasing its walk total by 13 percent since his arrival, including 192 base on balls last season, and setting a school record by reaching base on a hit-by-pitch 92 times during the course of the 2012 season.
In four seasons at Fullerton, the Titans saw their offensive output significantly increase, with their batting average jumping 60 points, up to .337 in 2010 (the second-highest mark in school history). CSF was a mainstay atop the Big West statistical rankings, ranking among the top three schools in the league in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, sacrifices and stolen bases in all four of his seasons at Fullerton.
In 2011, Bergeron helped Cal State Fullerton finish eighth in the nation in sacrifice bunts and 20th in stolen bases. They also walked the fifth-most of any team in the country, while striking out the seventh-fewest times. In 2010, the Titans ranked 17th in the nation in batting average and finished in the top 10 in the nation in hits (9th) and sacrifice bunts (6th). In 2009, the Titans ranked third in the country in sacrifice bunts led by infielder Joe Scott, who totaled more than any Division I player (25) and set a Fullerton school record in doing so.
Bergeron’s “pressure” offense continues on the base paths where his four Titan squads paced the Big West in stolen bases with totals of 126, 125, 112 and 98.
While at Irvine, Bergeron’s offensive strategy was also extremely proficient as the Anteaters led the Big West in every major category except doubles, home runs and walks. The Anteaters also shattered the school record for stolen bases and set new highs for sacrifices and sacrifice flies. Irvine’s 140 stolen bases in 2007 ranked eighth in the nation and nearly tripled the next best Big West competitor and helped them reach the College World Series for the first time in their program’s existence.
Prior to Irvine, Bergeron spent seven seasons (1998-2004) at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., where he was eventually promoted to head coach in his final year. In his only season as the Warriors’ skipper, Bergeron led El Camino to a school record 30-7 finish and to within one game of a state championship. During his tenure, he helped more than 50 players earn scholarships at four-year colleges, 30 of whom ended up at Division I schools.
Bergeron’s coaching career began in 1996 with a one-season stint at Loyola Marymount before moving over to Cypress College where he helped guide the Chargers to the California Community College State Championship.
Bergeron has played a critical role in the development of over 40 players that have been drafted by Major League teams, including a trio of first-round selections. Christian Colon and Gary Brown were drafted No. 3 and No. 24 overall by the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, respectively in 2010, while Robert Steihl went with the 27th overall pick to the Houston Astros in 2000.
He also recruited, signed and coached former UC Irvine star Ben Orloff for two seasons. Orloff would later go on to be named the winner of the 2009 Brooks Wallace Award, presented to the nation’s top shortstop, as well as a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award.
After prepping at Gahr High School and earning first-team all-conference honors at Cerritos College under Serrano’s guidance, Bergeron played two seasons at Cal State Dominguez Hills where he was named the Toros’ Student-Athlete of the Year and Team MVP. He was the conference batting champion his junior year. Bergeron finished his eligibility in 1994 with Loyola Marymount, where he earned All-West Coast Conference recognition. He eventually signed a free-agent contract with the Houston Astros in 1995.
Bergeron earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Cal State Dominguez Hills in 1993 and his master’s degree in the same subject from Azusa Pacific in 1997. He and his wife, Anne Marie, are the proud parents of twin daughters, Nicole and Natalie, and son, Brooks.