Vols introduce baseball coach Vitello

Former Arkansas assistant Tony Vitello was hired this week to take over as Tennessee's head baseball coach. 6/9/2017

After Arkansas' loss in the NCAA Fayetteville Regional this week, Tony Vitello was watching the western 'Tombstone' at 1:45 in the morning when John Currie called.

Friday, the former Hogs assistant was introduced as Tennessee's head coach.
 
Vitello hasn't been a head coach before but is known as one of the best recruiters in the country. 
 
He has strong recruiting ties in Texas and Missouri but says this program will make its money in Tennessee before looking outside.
 
"The margin of victory in this league is so small. Maybe having two or three more guys from this state wear Tennessee across their chest and willing to bleed for that makes a difference in a one-run game," Vitello said.
 
"This first year I plan on going into a cave. I show appreciation not by saying thank you but by dedicating every ounce of energy I have into getting things the way that will make John proud and make the fans feel like our enthusiasm and our loyalty about this place is being matched, so we can walk around proud to wear this color."
 
Vitello's father coached at De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis for 47 years and inspired him to get into coaching.
 
"Probably one of the best competitors that I’ve ever seen with my eyes," Vitello said of his father.
 
"So that’s what he instilled in me, and I feel that I have as good of a competitive edge as anyone in the country because of him. And I owe everything to him as it relates to having that spirit. I’ve said many times that he’s my hero because of the way he led young men in the halls of my high school. And it wasn’t just about doing so just so he could win games on the baseball field, soccer field or any other field of the many sports he coached, but it was so that the guys acted right and so that they represented themselves well, and then they went on to become better people and leaders in the community."

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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