It’s been quite a meteoric rise for Blake Dean since he joined the coaching ranks.

UNO named Dean interim baseball coach Thursday, a nifty if temporary promotion for someone less than five years removed from his playing days.

Dean, a College World Series champion in 2009 at LSU, joined the Privateers’ staff last year as a volunteer assistant. He became a full-time assistant coach just before this season began.

Now, Dean is leading the team — at least for the time being — following the Ron Maestri’s retirement.

“I’m honored and I’m excited,” said Dean, a 27-year-old native of Crestview, Florida. “I’m thankful that our athletic director (Derek Morel), our president (Peter Fos)and our university thought enough of me to give me the opportunity.”

Morel said UNO will continue its search for Maestri’s full-time successor. The search process will begin in earnest Tuesday.

Dean said he will get his opportunity to interview for the job but added he understands the process.

“I understand the administration has to do their job and find the best candidate for the job,” Dean said. “Of course, my ultimate goal is to become a head coach and I would love to do it here. But if they decide to go in a different direction, I’ll respect their decision.”

Dean finished his playing career second with the second-most total bases (575), RBIs (260) and career hits (332) in LSU history. He also ranked third in doubles (63), fourth in home runs (56) and runs scored (223).

Morel declined to reveal a list of potential interview candidates.