Tennessee is adding arguably the best player in program history to its baseball staff.
Todd Helton, a former Tennessee football and baseball player who went on to have a prestigious career in Major League Baseball that included a batting title, five All-Star Game appearances and a career average of .316 to go along with 2,519 hits, 369 home runs and three Gold Glove Awards for his work as a first baseman in his 17-year professional career, has been added to Dave Serrano’s staff as the director of player development.
“It’s an honor to have one of Tennessee’s best players coming back to be with our program,” Serrano said in a press release on Friday. “Our players and coaching staff will benefit from having Todd Helton’s presence around the ball field.”
Helton, according to the release, will serve in a volunteer capacity and will assist in “maintaining alumni relations, assisting with on-campus recruiting, collaborating with UT’s coaching staff and helping Tennessee’s current players make informed decisions about pursuing professional baseball careers.”
“After spending three years at Tennessee and 17 years in the Major Leagues with the Colorado Rockies, I really wanted to give back to this program any way that I can,” Helton said.
Serrano, who is entering his sixth season as Tennessee’s head coach after receiving a one-year contract extension last summer, has a 130-138 (48-99 SEC) record during his tenure in Knoxville. With a new athletics director set to arrive by the summer, the upcoming season is widely viewed as a final opportunity for Serrano to keep his job after not finishing higher than fifth in the SEC East or advancing past the SEC Tournament during his time at UT.