Tennessee baseball skipper Tony Vitello named National Coach of the Year


(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has named Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello has been named the 2021 Mike Martin National Coach of the Year.

Vitello is the second Tennessee baseball coach in program history to earn the national honor after Rod Delmonico in 1995, who led the Volunteers to three of their four previous College World Series trips. He is the first Tennessee skipper to win Coach of the Year from two separate organizations after Perfect Game USA also bestowed him with the annual honor.

In his fourth season on Rocky Top, Vitello led his team to the NCAA College World Series for the first time since 2005 and their first SEC Eastern division title since 1997. Tennessee also topped the 50-win mark for the first time since 1995.

He became the fastest Tennessee head coach to 100 career wins on March 19, surpassing Delmonico’s record in ten fewer games.

The Vols will begin their run in Omaha on Sunday afternoon against Virginia following a perfect 5-0 record in the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals. UT hosted its first regional since 2005 and its first-ever Super Regional.

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year Award was introduced in 2008. The winner is voted on by the NCBWA Board of Directors and chosen from a list that includes all Division I conference coaches of the year and the coaches of the eight NCAA College World Series teams.

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