KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tony Vitello led Tennessee baseball to accomplishments it hadn't achieved in more than a decade and now he's being rewarded for it. UT and Vitello have agreed on a raise and two-year contract extension that would keep him on Rocky Top through the 2024 season, the school announced Wednesday.
Vitello's salary increases by $80,000 for 2019-20 and he will now make $580,000. His salary will increase to $600,000 for 2020-21, $625,000 for 2021-22 and $650,000 for the final two years of the contract. His original contract was set to end in 2022 at a salary of $515,000.
In Vitello's second season in Knoxville, Tennessee reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. The Vols won two games in the Chapel Hill Regional before being eliminated in the regional final by host North Carolina.
"Impressive doesn't begin to describe the job Tony has done with our baseball program these past two seasons," athletics director Phillip Fulmer said in a press release.
"I believe we have in Coach Vitello one of the nation's brightest young head coaches. From managing the game, to player development, to recruiting and relating to today's student-athletes—Tony has a firm grasp on all aspects of leading a major program. He's surrounded himself with an outstanding staff, and we are going to support them as Tennessee baseball continues to climb."\
Vitello can also make additional money through incentives, which have not changed from his original contract. He will receive 4% of his base pay (base pay is $280,000 in 2019-20) if the Vols reach the SEC tournament, 8% for an NCAA Regional appearance and 28% for reaching the College World Series among other incentives.
Vitello will owe Tennessee $500,000 if he leaves before July 2022. If Tennessee fires Vitello without cause it would owe him the lesser of $1 million or the total base pay remaining on the contract.
Tennessee hired Vitello in June 2017, plucking him from Arkansas where he helped the Hogs reach the College World Series as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Vitello led the Vols to 29 wins in his first season as a head coach, the most by a first-year head coach in program history.
Six Vols were selected in the MLB Draft in early June, including four in the first nine rounds, the most for the program since 2001.