Yesterday UT announced the return of Vol legend Todd Helton to Knoxville as the director of player development. Helton spent three years at Tennessee (1993-1995) before leaving after his junior season as the number 8 pick in the MLB Draft.
The Vols reached the NCAA Tournament all three years Helton was at UT (their first appearances since the 1951 College World Series). Tennessee made the CWS in 1995 where they fell in the semifinals to eventual champion Cal State Fullerton. Helton was a three time All-American and was the National Player of the Year in 1995. He still owns many Vol records including single season records for RBIs (92), ERA (0.89), and saves (12). His Tennessee record of 47.2 consecutive scoreless innings is the second all time for NCAA Division I (after George Plender's 60 straight for Vermont in 1954-55).
Helton made his MLB debut August 2, 1997 for the Colorado Rockies. He spent his whole 17 season professional career with them where he was a 5 time All-Star, 4 time Silver Slugger, and 3 time Gold Glove winner. Helton finished his career with a .316 batting average with 369 home runs and 1,406 RBIs. After retiring the Rockies retired his number in 2014, the first former Colorado player to be honored in that way.
According to the article on UTSports, Helton will be "responsible for maintaining alumni relations, assisting with on-campus recruiting, collaborating with UT’s coaching staff and helping Tennessee’s current players make informed decisions about pursuing professional baseball careers."
Tennessee starts the season next month on Friday February 17th in Memphis where they will take on the Tigers in a three game series.