Tony Vitello

Tony has Tennessee ranked No. 10 in this week’s coaches poll. It is Tennessee’s first time in the top 10 since the last time the Vols went to the College World Series in 2005.

Seems like two years ago EOE’s pitchers were unhittable in February and March and they climbed into the rankings. Then they got into SEC play and suddenly were very hittable.

Tennessee’s pitching was pretty good in 2019. They had some hiccups, like during the Arkansas series, but overall they were solid. They were fifth in the SEC in ERA, second in fewest walks and seventh in opponent batting average. They shut out a lot of teams, including Georgia (twice) and Ole Miss.

That team didn’t hit well and played a lot of low-scoring games. They went 40-21 overall and 14-16 in the SEC. That’s a similar record to some of Arkansas’ CWS teams.

Give him a little time! He has the ability to recruit and motivate. DVH has him on his staff for a reason he is solid and knows baseball.

Yep add another team to the most difficult road schedule of all time. The good news is they will all come to our place next year

Hopefully it’s still a ways away but I wonder if Tony would be a frontrunner to replace Van Horn?

I have thought this for some time.

That’s very possible but DVH isn’t steeping down any time in the near future.

Whenever that happens, this job is a PREMIER job. We should have the pick of any coach not named O’Sullivan or Corbin.

But I hope it’s a long time before that happens

DVH turned 60 in September. He can obviously keep this job for a long time to come, as well as he’s feeding the monster he’s created. At one time UA had a mandatory retirement age but JFB was AD until he was 83. I don’t think DVH will hang around for 23 more years, but maybe half that? Mike Martin at FSU retired at 75 and beat us on the way out the door.

I asked Van Horn at the end of 2018 if he ever thinks about retirement. He said he thinks he still has at least five to seven years, in reference to his new contract (at the time) that was for five years and could be automatically extended twice by reaching the postseason.

He also made some comments a couple of years ago when they played Florida State about Mike Martin’s age. He said he won’t be coaching anymore when he’s 75.

As far as Vitello, if Van Horn’s tenure ended after this season, Vitello would probably have to be one of the first calls. He knows the job and he knows how to be a head coach in the SEC. I know he loved living in Fayetteville.

There seems to be a strong trend right now across all college sports to replace an outgoing legend with someone who has coached under him and will run the program in a similar way.

It certainly worked in going from Norm to DVH.

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