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Will Tennessee Ever Catch Up To Vanderbilt In Baseball?

How much help do the Vols need?

Tennessee Athletics/

Just as the Tennessee Volunteers made its first NCAA tournament appearance in over a decade, the Vanderbilt Commodores were winning a second national championship in six seasons.

It’s safe to say that the Vols’ younger brother has become a powerhouse in college baseball, but that wasn’t always the case for the Dores.

Before Tim Corbin - who just finished his 17th season as head coach - Vanderbilt was not very good. At all.

The Commodores had been to the NCAA Tournament just three times in their 100-year history before Corbin arrived. Since his first year back in 2003, the Dores have been to the tournament 15 times, winning it twice and finishing as runner-up in a third.

Corbin has become the driving force behind the program’s success. His ability to coach, lead, and keep his nose clean has propelled him and the program to heights never seen before.

So can the same thing happen for the Vols’ baseball program?

Like Corbin, current Vols head coach Tony Vitello inherited a program that had seen its fair share of dark days. Like Corbin, Vitello was able to get his squad into the NCAA Tournament in his second year at the helm. Like Corbin, Vitello is sending his players to the big leagues.

Now, I’m not around either one of these programs nowhere near enough to be able to describe the nuances between each coach’s approach to how they run their programs, but on the surface it appears that the Vols are doing everything the right way in hopes of getting this program back to winning on a consistent level.

One major advantage of Corbin’s legacy has been his longevity and the Vols took care of that issue by recently extending Vitello through the 2024 season.

And now that he is on board for the long haul, it provides a stable foundation to continue to build upon.

But can the Vols match Vandy’s success?

That is obviously a question that will be answered at a later date and time, but it’s hard to argue that Tennessee has the wrong approach in this scenario. Vitello has shown in a short amount of time that he can indeed provide success and as long as he resides in Knoxville, that success should continue without hesitation.

One must also take into account the advantage of “Opportunity Vanderbilt”, which is a program that helps kids afford the costs of attending Vanderbilt. It essentially levels the playing field for the Commodores. Without it, Corbin and co. would be hard-pressed to put together a complete and competitive roster. You can check out SB Nation’s’s excellent breakdown on the program here.

What do you think? Could the Vols ever reach the Commodores’ level of success in college baseball? Let us know in the comments below!


Will Tennessee ever match Vanderbilt’s success in baseball?

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