NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Oregon is serious about building a winner in college baseball, just ask Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin.
What began as a simple consultation between Corbin and Oregon officials escalated into one of the summer's hottest stories this week. However, the end result was the same as it has been in each of the last three seasons - Corbin will remain at Vanderbilt.
With rumors swirling and uncertainty filling the air, Corbin reaffirmed his commitment to Vanderbilt University in a 20-minute briefing with members of the media Wednesday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
"I'm slightly embarrassed that it came to this," Corbin said about the media briefing. "I don't want people thinking I'm always going to shop for other jobs. When I look at Vanderbilt, I see a school and program that is committed to college baseball."
As Oregon prepares to restart its baseball program, university officials have toured the country looking at programs, ballparks and other facilities. In the process, the Ducks ran into Corbin, who will enter his sixth season with the Commodores in 2008.
During a trip to California, Corbin was once again approached by Oregon officials. Only this time they called to gauge his interest in the job. As a result, Corbin and his wife made a trip to Eugene, Ore., where they toured the athletic facilities.
"The whole connection started with me consulting them on how to build a program. During my trip to California they asked me to go up there," he said. "At that point I made the decision to speak with Oregon officials about the job."
In addition to being presented with impressive plans for a state-of-the-art facility and other program enhancements, Corbin also received numerous phone calls from influential businessman and Nike founder Phil Knight.
Corbin was impressed with what Oregon had to offer, but felt his heart was at Vanderbilt.
"I understand how some people might feel about this situation, but it is what it is," he said. "Oregon could've been a special situation, so when an opportunity like that arises you have to listen to what they have to say."
After returning to Nashville, Corbin met with Vanderbilt officials. The meeting included influential university figure David Williams.
In those meetings, Corbin and other officials discussed seating expansion, the field and touched on a variety of important subjects surrounding the program.
"We discussed a lot of things in those meetings. When chancellor Gordon Gee left for Ohio State, I wanted to make sure that David Williams was staying put," he said. "Not only is he an important leader, he also designed our baseball situation."
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the hiring of a new chancellor, Corbin believes the new leader - whoever it may be - needs to support the athletics programs.
"With as much success as we've had lately, you'd think the new chancellor would want to continue to press forward."
As Corbin's focus shifts back to the team and fall workouts, Oregon is continuing its coaching search without Dave Serrano and Tim Corbin on the wish list.
Corbin insists the Ducks will do anything to experience immediate success.
"The current plan calls for the construction of a beautiful ballpark," he said of Oregon's situation. "Based on what I know, I'd put the proposed ballpark against any of the nation's finest facilities."
What is tabbed as an important return for Vanderbilt is a substantial loss for Oregon.
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball editor for Rivals.com. He can
be reached at email@example.com.