KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — University of Tennessee Director of Athletics John Currie is expected to introduce Tony Vitello as the Volunteers' head baseball coach at a press conference Friday.
Vitello is a Missouri native who worked four seasons as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator in Arkansas. His rise to the head coaching ranks also includes stops at Missouri (his alma mater) and TCU. Vitello has assembled eight top-15 signing classes, including America's top rated crop of talent in 2014.
During a Division I coaching career spanning just 14 years, Vitello has signed and developed six first-round MLB Draft picks and a dozen players who advanced to the big leagues. That list includes Andrew Benintendi, Brandon Finnegan, Kyle Gibson, All-Star Aaron Crow, Gold Glove Award winner and four-time All-Star Ian Kinsler and four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.
“We are thrilled to bring Coach Vitello’s passion for baseball, relationship building and student-athlete development into the Tennessee athletics family,” Currie said. “Proven experience evaluating and recruiting at the highest level and in the grind of the SEC was an absolute prerequisite, and Coach Vitello checks all the boxes."
Vitello agreed to a five-year contract with an average base salary of $493,000.
“This is as good of an opportunity as there is in the country,” Vitello said. “I consider myself incredibly blessed to be a part of the athletic department at the University of Tennessee. It’s the ultimate combination of an elite conference, a state school with great in-state players, a phenomenal city and outstanding tradition that exists not just with baseball, but across all sports."
VITELLO’S COLLEGE COACHING HISTORY
Tennessee, 2017-present - Head Coach
Arkansas, 2013-17 - Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
TCU, 2010-13 - Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Missouri, 2003-10 - Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Missouri, 2002-03 - Volunteer Assistant Coach
Salinas Packers, 2002 - Assistant Coach
VITELLO’S NCAA APPEARANCES
2017 NCAA Fayetteville Regional
2015 College World Series
2014 NCAA Charlottesville Regional
2012 NCAA Los Angeles Regional
2011 NCAA Fort Worth Regional
2009 NCAA Oxford Regional
2008 NCAA Coral Gables Regional
2007 NCAA Columbia (Mo.) Regional
2006 NCAA Fullerton Super Regional
2005 NCAA Fullerton Regional
2004 NCAA Fayetteville Regional
2003 NCAA Starkville Regional