Tennessee is ready to make waves in the NCAA Tournament, starting tonight as the Knoxville regional kicks off. The Vols just captured an SEC East crown, and made an appearance in the SEC Championship game. It took Vitello under four years to transform Tennessee from one of the worst in the league to one of the best.
Even as the NCAA Tournament is set to begin, Vitello’s future is at the top of everyone’s priority list. Texas A&M is expected to make a run at Vitello, which could be hard to Tennessee to match from a baseball resources standpoint. However, Danny White is getting things in order to make a big investment in both Tennessee baseball and Vitello, per this report from Mike Wilson.
(Wilson’s report is very detailed and very much worth your time.)
Tony Vitello has built Tennessee baseball into a force in four seasons.— Mike Wilson (@ByMikeWilson) June 4, 2021
Sources tell @knoxnews that UT is preparing to make Vitello one of the nation's highest-paid coaches and make a sizable financial commitment to facilities https://t.co/1vkAIftcof
Vitello currently makes $600,000 per year, while most of the top coaches in the sport make over $1 million annually. That’s the neighborhood Tennessee will have to land in to keep him around over the next several seasons. Tim Corbin at Vanderbilt, the nation’s highest paid coach, makes $1.2 million, for reference.
Obviously keeping Vitello around is about more than just money. It’s about facilities, which are overdue for renovations. Lindsey Nelson needs work, and per Wilson’s report, Tennessee is ready to make that happen. Wilson reports that Vitello has been involved in some of these brainstorming sessions, as the Volunteers try to get their homefield up to par with the rest of the SEC.
First things first, let’s see what happens over the next few weeks. After that, the pressure is certainly on Danny White to make something happen.