Vitello Named Tennessee Head Coach
FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Just two days after seeing their season come to an end, Arkansas saw their top assistant leave for a head coaching position in the SEC.
Tony Vitello was named the new head coach at Tennessee on Wednesday morning after spending the past four seasons with the Razorbacks.
“Tony has done an incredible job during his time here at Arkansas as a recruiter and a coach,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said in a statement. “He has poured his heart and soul into our program. He’s elevated our recruiting. I knew when I hired him that I would probably only have him for three or four years.
“Tony has worked tirelessly as our recruiting coordinator and with our hitters and outfielders. He’s done an outstanding job in both of those areas. He’s worked extremely hard and has brought in some of the best talent from across the country year in and year out for each program he has worked for, and that’s what he’s done here at the University of Arkansas.
“I’m excited for him, personally and professionally, because I know he has aspired to be a head coach at this type of program. This is great for his career and I couldn’t be more happy for Tony and his future.”
Vitello came to Arkansas after spending four seasons at TCU as an assistant coach.
“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.
“It’s no coincidence that it’s been a place where so many great coaches have been leaders in their sport. I want to work like crazy to uphold that standard.”
In November, Vitello was named the top recruiter in the SEC by D1Baseball.com and number two in the nation.
“We are thrilled to bring Coach Vitello’s passion for baseball, relationship building and student-athlete development into the Tennessee athletics family,” Tennessee Director of Athletics John 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. He has a track record of helping to build healthy and competitive programs–from those earliest relationships formed during the recruiting process through the development of young men into major league ballplayers. Coach Vitello has been to a dozen NCAA Tournaments, and he’s been part of a staff that led a team to Omaha. He knows firsthand what it takes to win in the Southeastern Conference, and he has triumphed in recruiting battles for elite prospects in our SEC footprint and other talent-rich areas across the country.
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