Tony V

Vitello to Vols…sad for us. Congrats to him!!

Tony has been holding out for a big job. He’s turned down some opportunities to be a head coach at smaller schools.

I’m happy for him. He’s an upstanding individual who has done a lot of good things at his coaching stops. I hope he does well there, but that’s a difficult job.

Life in the SEC just got even harder. Give TV two years and Tenn will be in the upper tier of the SEC. Home run hire for them (pardon the pun . . . I couldn’t resist).

Of immediate concern is how it will affect our present commits for 2018 and 2019.

We need to get another ace recruiter.

Glad he didn’t go to Alabama. I suspect he could be Missouri now if he’d wanted to be. Hope he does well except when he plays Arkansas.

For him to get in the top tier, he has to pass someone, or some has to fall. Who will that be? And what is the top tier? I’d think top 4 teams. You think he’ll get above LSU, Florida, Arkansas and AU/KY/SC? Seems unlikely.

Pardon my language but “Oh hell”. I really like Coach V. One thing is for sure. He will have great players at Tennessee.

Tennessee seems to be a tough job. Serrano had a stellar pedigree, although I suspect that recruiting at Fullerton and Irvine was not as tough as it was at EOE-K.

If anyone can recruit there, Vitello can.

It’s always fun for me to speculate about additions to the baseball coaching staff. I was very impressed with the Kansas State hitting coach when played KSU at Manhattan in the regional. He has left KSU, know not where. Here is some information on a couple of the best hitting coaching in the NCAA.


2\tMorehead State \t.332
3\tSt. Johns\t\t.323

Morehead State – hitting coach – Adam Brown voted best recruiting coordinator Ohio Valley Conf

St Johns – hitting coach – Mike Hampton – great hitting record – 55 players in the majors

I wonder what the hitting coach for Missouri State is making?

I would imagine it might be after CWS before we will see who will replace Tony. DVH like most coaches do not get in a hurry unless there is someone he has his eye on that his team is no longer playing. I’m sure that this came as no surprise to DVH and knew TN was going to interview Tony after our season was done. It is kinda ironic that SEC vacancies are being filled by SEC assistant coaches and even assistants move around like Wes Johnson did when he left MSU to come to UA.

I expect that Dave will focus on a coach who has demonstrated the ability to recruit in Dallas and Houston, because that’s where the Razorbacks get a good chunk of their players.

Tony opened Arkansas up to areas like Kansas City and St. Louis and Todd Butler was strong in areas like Oklahoma City. Those can fluctuate based on the assistant, but both had the ties to Texas that Dave wants in an assistant.

I don’t necessarily think it will be someone with previous ties to Dave and Arkansas.

As for the timeline, it will depend on when that coach’s season has ended. For instance, Wes Johnson was hired a few days after Mississippi State was eliminated in the super regional last year.

Speaking of Wes Johnson, he might suggest a good recruiter from Dallas Baptist, Dan Fitzgerald. Wes worked with him for a few years and I’d guess they have a good relationship. He’s considered a top recruiter and is also a good hitting coach. That would fit what Matt was talking about, a recruiting coach with Texas ties. Fitzgerald’s roots are from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Of course, Norm DeBriyn was a Wisconsin product. … h=baseball

The last time that TN had a winning conference record was 2005 and that was also the last year that they made NCAA playoffs. As Matt said I wish Tony the best of luck but that is a tough place to win in baseball and of course facilities are way behind the rest of the conference.

I think Tennessee probably is the second most difficult job in the conference behind Missouri.

If I was looking for someone who is known for their ability to recruit Houston and Dallas, and teach hitting, I would start with these four:

  • Dan Fitzgerald, Dallas Baptist: As Clay mentioned, he is well thought of and has the connection to Wes Johnson. Together they helped build a great program with Dan Heefner at Dallas Baptist.

  • Will Bolt, Texas A&M: Bolt played for Nebraska and is a former head coach at Texarkana Community College, where Van Horn got his start. Bolt is known as “Little Van Horn” by his old Nebraska teammates.

  • Justin Seely, Texas A&M: Like Bolt, Seely was on those Nebraska teams coached by Van Horn. He has been with the Aggies for a while.

  • Trip Couch, Houston: Couch has helped assemble a good team at Houston. He is in his second stint as a Houston assistant, and was a longtime scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks for about a decade in between.