Tony Vitello has been named the new assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Arkansas baseball team.
Vitello comes to Arkansas after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at TCU. Prior to TCU, Vitello was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Missouri for eight years.
“I’ve been very impressed with Tony over the years with the job he’s done recruiting and on the field as a coach,” head coach Dave Van Horn said. “He’s well respected in the baseball community and is considered one of the top young coaches in the country. He has a proven track record of bringing in some of the top recruiting classes nationally. He’s very familiar with the region of the country where we focus our recruiting efforts. I’m excited to have him in our program.”
Vitello replaces Todd Butler, who left to be the head coach at Wichita State earlier this month.
“I am elated to join the Arkansas baseball program,” Vitello said. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of a university that the entire state rallies around. It’s an even greater opportunity to learn from Coach Van Horn. I’ve been watching his teams with admiration dating all the way back to when I was a player in the Big 12 and he was at Nebraska. His teams are known for playing hard, which is a clear reflection of their head coach’s leadership and competitiveness.
In his three years at TCU, Vitello helped the Horned Frogs to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a super regional berth in 2012.
Vitello's recruiting efforts have also become prominent. In 2013, 11 newcomers saw time on the field for TCU. The Horned Frogs had the 11th best recruiting class in the country.
Vitello’s 2012 recruiting class was ranked in the top 10 nationally and 16 players made their debut during the 2012 season.
The young 2012 team won the Mountain West Conference regular season and advanced to the super regionals before falling to UCLA. Four Horned Frog hitters earned all-conference accolades and six TCU players were selected in the MLB Draft.
In his first season at TCU in 2011, Vitello worked with a TCU offense that finished the season with a .306 batting average and averaged 6.7 runs per game. The team hit 141 doubles on the season, which ranked fourth all time in school history.
Vitello inherits a Hogs team that brings back its top three hitters from 2013 in Brian Anderson, Joe Serrano and Tyler Spoon.