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Three names left on LSU’s list for a new manager

Tony Vitello not one of the three finalists for the open LSU manager gig

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Tennessee’s Tony Vitello isn’t a finalist for the LSU manager job, according to Glenn Guilbeau of the Lafayette Daily Adviser.

Up until today, some Vol fans had been reasonably concerned that Tony Vitello would end up in Baton Rouge replacing Paul Mainieri as the Tigers’ new manager. Tennessee’s baseball program doesn’t have the quite the illustrious history that LSU has, nor the established facilities or the new, sizeable home stadium. Indeed, the inherent gravitas of that job would be tough for any college baseball manager to turn down. Regardless, it appears that LSU is going in a different direction.

The Vols burst onto the college baseball scene this year with a 50-win season that saw Tennessee host its first-ever Super Regional and the team’s first trip to Omaha for the final leg of the College World Series since 2005. The on-field success speaks for itself, to a degree, but Vitello further endeared himself to Vol fans with his demeanor, energy and emotion both during and after games. A few examples — first, right after Drew Gilbert’s walk-off grand slam against Wright State in the Regional. That’s Tony DARTING into the outfield in celebration.

Second, Vitello high-fiving students postgame against Liberty.

Third, a little postgame fire between Vitello and Arkansas manager Dave VanHorn.

Contract negotiations have been on going between Vitello and Tennessee AD Danny White for, “months,” according to White. Renovations to Lindsey Nelson Stadium and a considerable financial commitment to the baseball program are likely to be included as well as a sizable raise for Vitello and his staff. I’d imagine there’s a new deal announced in the next few weeks.

No matter how it happens, hanging on to Vitello is a serious win for the baseball team and the program as a whole.