LOS ANGELES -- Chad Kreuter was fired as Southern California baseball coach by new athletic director Pat Haden on Monday.
Haden named assistant Frank Cruz as interim head coach for the 2011 season.
Haden became athletic director last week, saying one of his goals was to return USC's baseball program to national prominence.
"There is no reason we shouldn't be there," Haden said in a statement. "We thank Chad Kreuter for his four years of hard work and service, but this move was necessary to revitalize our program. ... We need to get back to our championship ways."
USC has won 12 College World Series titles.
Former athletic director Mike Garrett hired Kreuter in June 2006. Kreuter replaced his father-in-law, Mike Gillespie, who retired after 20 years, including leading the Trojans to four College World Series appearances and the 1998 national championship. Gillespie now coaches at UC Irvine.
Kreuter had an overall record of 111-117 in four years at USC, including a 39-63 Pac-10 mark. The Trojans never finished higher than fifth in the conference standings, including 10th last season.
USC was 28-32 overall last season and 7-20 in Pac-10 play. The Trojans were 3-11 against crosstown rival UCLA under Kreuter, a former major league catcher who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cruz, 51, spent the last two seasons as a volunteer assistant with the Trojans. He previously was an assistant to Gillespie from 1993-96. He spent 12 years as head coach at Loyola Marymount. Haden said Cruz will be among those considered for the permanent job.